Philippines maritime law enforcement best in region – United States envoy
Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe (The Philippine Star) - September 26, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ maritime police is better than any other maritime institution in the region, although the country has greater challenges since it is an archipelago, a top US official said.

State Assistant Secretary William Brownfield, head of the US Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), said the Philippines, through the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, could do with more boats, vessels and even aircraft to protect national patrimony.

“My own view is the PNP and its Maritime Group are in fact as good as or better than any other maritime police institution in this region in conducting that mission. Could they benefit with more resources? Yes, they could. Would they have to get more boats? Yes, they would. Are we prepared to work with them in that area? Yes,” Brownfield told reporters.

Brownfield was with the commandant of the US Coast Guard, Admiral Paul Zukunft, when they met with PNP chief Director General Ricardo Marquez and other top police officials at Camp Crame recently.

Brownfield’s office is tasked with combating international crime and illegal drugs and their impact on the United States, by providing effective foreign assistance and fostering cooperation to counter the threats.

INL currently manages $20 million in foreign assistance to the Philippines, with plans to continue providing more than $8 million in assistance annually.

The assistance has had significant impact on expanding the capabilities of Philippine partner agencies across the criminal justice spectrum.

Brownfield noted that the Philippines “is a nation of 7,100 islands, and obviously, that most of its territories are in fact maritime as supposed to land, I believe that the law enforcement challenges can be divided into a number of categories, some of them related to those protecting the national patrimony, whether it is fish or whether it is coral reefs or whether mineral wealth located in the national waters, protecting them from criminals who would steal those assets.”

 

 

ACIRC ADMIRAL PAUL ZUKUNFT BROWNFIELD BUREAU OF INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS CAMP CRAME COAST GUARD DEPARTMENT OF STATE DIRECTOR GENERAL RICARDO MARQUEZ MARITIME GROUP PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE-MARITIME GROUP STATE ASSISTANT SECRETARY WILLIAM BROWNFIELD
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