By US News Agency / Asian
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Philippine Marines Corps (PMC) are set to post a new battalion in Palawan as part of its strategic posturing in the Kalayaan Islands Group (KIG) and to reach out to more communities in terms of civic military operations.
Newly-installed Western Command Headquarters (Wescom) spokesperson Maj. Neil Anthony Estrella, in an interview Tuesday, said Marine Battalion Landing Team 12 would arrive here by the next quarter to boost the conduct of more civil military operations in the northern and southern parts of Palawan, particularly in municipalities where the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) had an active presence.
“After seeing the good effect of the many medical and dental missions accomplished by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 in Roxas, San Vicente, and other barangays here in Puerto Princesa, the AFP thought they could be augmented to reach out to more people,” Estrella said.
In Palawan, the Marine Battalion Landing Team 8 led by Lt. Col. Yuri G. Pesigan, has been praised in the rural communities of Roxas and San Vicente, and Puerto Princesa for accomplishing nearly a dozen medical and dental missions for residents who have no access to primary health care services.
On strategic posturing in the KIG, Estrella said part of the mission of the Wescom is external defense, as well as support to the province of Palawan’s goal to protect its marine environment from foreign and domestic poachers.
The MBLT 12, he said, will be part of a composite unit that the Wescom regularly sends in the KIG in the following months. The battalion is currently organizing in Metro Manila, according to Estrella.