Following Abu Sayyaf kidnap threat, Palawn gets new anti-terrorism boat

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The new fast anti-terrorism boat makes its public debut today.

Following recent warnings of an Abu Sayyaf kidnap raid, Palawan’s Coast Guard have shown off a new anti-terrorism fast boat.

The new acquisition revealed today (Monday, August 20) has the capability for night operations and comes with a mounted 30-calibre machine gun.

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The ‘rigid hulled inflatable boat’ is just one of a fleet of high-speed fast boats and 44m-class multi-role response vessels donated to the Philippines by Japan.

Commodore Allen Toribio, district Coast Guard commander said the boat has a speed of 40-60 knots — nearly 70mph — and a 350-horsepower engine with a fuel capacity of 320 litres.

He said the boat could deliver “dependability, style and confidence when taking control of the coastal water.” He added that it could carry up to 12 anti-terrorism personnel.

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“It was donated by the Japan government. Sometime ago, President Duterte requested for fast boats and they gave freely. As far as I know, there are seven units and one was given to Palawan,” he said.

“We will have floating assets dedicated to the east and west of Palawan, and we have so many aluminium boats, and this new asset that we are launching – the fast boat – this is for interdiction in our patrol.” 

Interdiction, he explained, as “it is fast, complete with navigational equipment and can operate at night with the 30 caliber firepower machine gun aside from the M16 rifles of the anti-terrorist personnel”.

He also urged the public to help the Coast Guard, the military, the police and the provincial government in ensuring the province’s safety by remaining alert and vigilant, especially in seaside communities.

The launching of the boat comes a barely a week after an Abu Sayyaf threat to conduct kidnappings on the island was revealed by the Palawan Provincial Peace and Order Council. 

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