June 12, 2019
The Philippine Marines will deploy a battalion to support the government's fight against the Abu Sayyaf in Sulu.
Capt. Felix Serapio Jr. Philippine Marines spokesman, said last Monday "the 8th Marine Battalion of the Marine Corps’ 12 line battalions were declared “operationally ready” and fit to be deployed in the operational area after an intensive nine-month long retraining and refurbishing program."
"This means all the necessary skill sets for the Marines are enhanced, assets and equipment were repaired, replaced or provided, and the operational readiness of the unit is at its highest," he said.
Serapio said the date of the battalion's deployment will be determined by the headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Navy.
"For now, we have declared it as operational ready. The higher command of Philippine Navy will determine when will be the deployment with coordination to the higher headquarters of the general headquarters," he said.
Serapio said more troops were deployed in Sulu as the military intensified its operation against the terrorist group in the province based on the guidance of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"With the guidance of the president to focus the operation in Sulu, the Army's 1st Brigade Combat Team was also deployed there. So they intensify the operation there to completely eradicate the Abu Sayyaf," he said. Serapio said the "8th Marine Battalion was activated on 28 July 1978 and is now under the leadership of Lt. Col. Rommel Bogñalbal, as its 23rd commanding officer." Robina Asido/DMS
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