FOLLOWING the discovery of illegal drugs floating in the open sea off Dinagat Island and Surigao del Norte, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will strengthen monitoring by their maritime unit along the nation’s expansive coastline.
PNP Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde said the PNP has already started a full blown modernization of its maritime unit.
Part of the modernization plan is to procure additional motorized patrol boats and recruitment and training of more personnel for maritime operations.
Albayalde said they started procurement of equipment last year and will purchase additions this year to enhance the PNP’s maritime capability.
Almost P2 billion worth of shabu was seized in a raid on a warehouse in Cavite that resulted in the death of two foreigners.
Illegal drugs seized in the warehouse were fetched from the sea and brought to the warehouse for repacking and distribution.
Just last week a total of 88 bricks of cocaine were recovered on the waters of Dinagat Island and Surigao del Norte.
Another brick was found at a shoreline in Paracale, Camarines Norte.
The cocaine bricks are believed to have been dropped for pick-up and transport to other countries.
PNP Maritime Group Director Police Chief Supt. Rodelio Jocson said 28 gunboats were procured last year.
Of the 28 gunboats, seven have already been delivered while the remaining 21 are expected to be turned over to them this year.
Jocson said they will buy 18 more gunboats this year.
He said these gunboats will be a big boost to their capability.
Aside from gunboats several drones will also be delivered to the Maritime Group.
He said the drones will complement the patrol and other operations of the Maritime Group.
Jocson said the procurement of drones is alongside the construction of drone centers and training of drone pilots.