The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) on Tuesday announced that it will deploy additional troops to Sulu to beef up the military’s fight against the terrorist Abu Sayyaf group and other lawless elements operating in the island province.
In a statement, Maj. Gen. Alvin Parreno, Marine commandant, declared the 8th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT8) “operationally ready” and would be ready for deployment any time.
He added that the the members of the MBLT8, led by Lt. Col. Rommel Bogñalbal, to live up to the Marines tradition in fighting enemies of the state.
“As the most trusted force of the AFP, the Filipino people highly rely on the security, the services and the response that the Philippine Marine Corps delivers,” said Parreno. “We cannot fail those who gave their trust in us. We must always be ready to respond and accomplish our mission.”
But the Marine commandant stressed the need for the Marines to be more “interoperable” with other AFP combat units.
“Always speak peace and development and embrace ‘jointness’ in the joint environment, as we don’t compete with our brothers and sisters in the other service but rather complement each other to accomplish more,” said Parreno.
The MBLT8 has just completed a nine-month retraining and capability building at the PMC headquarters in Fort Bonifacio, which means that 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, according to Capt. Felix Serapio Jr., spokesman of the Marines.
Serapio said that it will take another 10 years for the MBLT8 to return to headquarters after deployment to Sulu where Abu Sayyaf leader Radullan Sahiron is operating.