Navy to deploy gunboats for papal visit
Roel Pareño (The Philippine Star) - November 15, 2014 - 12:00am

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines – At least five Navy vessels stationed here will be deployed to Tacloban City to augment security for the papal visit next year.

Capt. Giovani Bacordo, deputy commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NWFM), said BRP Bagong Silang, BRP Leopoldo Regis and three patrol boats would be refurbished while its crew would undergo training before being sent to Tacloban.

Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Gen. Gregorio Catapang earlier said the 7th and 8th Philippine contingent to Golan Heights would help secure Pope Francis during his visit.

Bacordo said the five gunboats have completed their mission here, including a naval blockade that intercepted smuggled rice worth P24 million.

He said the patrol boats would be replaced by new ships to support the NFWM in its campaign against illegal activities, including hunting down Abu Sayyaf bandits.

ABU SAYYAF ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES CHIEF OF STAFF GEN BACORDO BAGONG SILANG GIOVANI BACORDO GOLAN HEIGHTS GREGORIO CATAPANG LEOPOLDO REGIS NAVAL FORCES WESTERN MINDANAO POPE FRANCIS TACLOBAN CITY
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