Manila Bulletin, Sunday, March 21, 2010
By: Elena Aben
Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Vice Admiral Ferdinand Golez has ordered the deployment of the Navy’s elite force, patrol vessels, and gun boats to help get the remaining members of the al Qaeda-inked Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in 60 days, in line with the order of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Delfin Bangit.
Lt. Col. Edgard Arevalo, Navy spokesman, said send-off ceremony will be held 7:30 a.m. Monday, March 22, at the Navy headquarters in Manila.
Arevalo said newly-repaired surface assets that will be deployed to operational areas in in the Visayas and Mindanao are BRP Rajah Humabon (PF 11), BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS 36), BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS 38), BRP Simeon Castro (PG 374), BRP Apollo Tiano (PG 851), and BRP Gen. Emilio Aguinlado (PG 140).
A company from the Philippine Marine Corps’ (PMC) elite force will also be deployed to Basilan to augment government forces present in the province. The Philippine Army also sent its specially-trained troops to the area.
The Navy FOIC will preside over the ceremony to be attended by Senior Fleet-Marine unit commanders.
Maj. Gen. Juancho Sabban, Marine Commandant, and Rear Admiral Geronimo Defensor, Commander, Philippine Fleet, will assist Golez during the inspection of troops and their equipment prior to the send off.
“Binibining Pilipinas 2010 winners will likewise grace the occasion to help boost the morale of the sailors and marines which will result in their improved efficiency in the performance of their duties and responsibilities to the country and the Filipino people,” said Arevalo.
Considering the dangers of the task, the Navy will remain committed in the performance of their sworn duties to protect the people and preserve the sovereignty and integrity of the nation,” he added.