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PCG Southwestern District holds counter-terror demo

Roel Pareño - Philstar.com
PCG Southwestern District holds counter-terror demo
The district's newest boats—Japan-made patrol vessel BRP Bagacay and France-made BRP Malamawi and BRP Panglao—participated in the exercise.
Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard Southwestern District on Tuesday showed off its counter-terror team's capabilities in a demonstration for the district's 51st anniversary.

The district's newest boats—Japan-made patrol vessel BRP Bagacay and France-made BRP Malamawi and BRP Panglao—participated in the exercise, where two Rigid Inflatable Boats slipped a counter-terror team onto a "hijacked boat".

The demonstration was done in cooperation with the Philippine Air Force, which provided aerial support during the assault.

Commodore Joseph Coyme, district commander, said the coast guard's Southwestern District is now well prepared for its mission to protect the maritime borders and sealanes of the southern Philippines.

The district's jurisdiction covers the Basilan Strait, where hijacking and piracy attempts have been reported.
 
"We are sending the message of the coast guard capability and how we conduct law enforcement with our highly trained personnel to address piracy and armed robbery and counter-terrorism," Coyme said.

"This will be a warning especially to the notorious Abu Sayyaf group and other lawless elements in the southwestern area," he also said.

He said integrated communication with the Air Force helps the coast guard better secure the country's coasts.
 
"We are prepared in suppressing and preventing threats of terrorism and responding distress calls with all the assets and capabilities we have," Coyme said.

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