The Manila Times

Abalos lauds Bantay Dagat task force


Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. lauded Sulu Gov. Sakur Tan for his active role in maintaining peace and order in the southern Philippine province where he recently helped organize “Task Force Bantay Dagat.”

The task force has nearly 400 Special Cafgu Active Auxiliary members under the supervision of the Philippine Army. They are also set to undergo military training and will help protect marine environments and enforce coastal laws.

“Bilib ako sa mga aksyon na ginagawa ni Gov. Sakur Tan upang mas mapatatag pa ang peace and order sa Sulu, dahilan ng patuloy na paglago ng kanilang ekonomiya,” Abalos said in a public statement.

“Katuwang ang Bantay Dagat at mga kasamahan nating government officials, patuloy tayong magkakaisa sa pagbibigay kapayapaan at kaayusan sa ating mga karagatan. Sa kabila ng ating pagkakaiba sa relihiyon at lengwahe, iisa ang ating mithiin: ang kasaganahan ng ating inang bayan.”

Abalos’ statement was also shared on social media by the Philippine National Police.

The 11th Infantry Division will facilitate the training of the Task Force Bantay Dagat which is composed of some 380 members.

They will conduct maritime patrol utilizing 95 motorboats, according to

Lt. Col. Abdurasad Sirajan, a spokesman for the Western Mindanao Command.

Tan said the task force was jointly launched this month by the provincial government and the 11th Infantry Division.

“The task force will work with the security forces to protect the integrity of the territorial waters and marine environment, monitor illegal fishing, provide assistance in rescue operations, and enforce coastal laws,” he said.

Marine Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas, acting chief of the Western Mindanao Command, also lauded the creation of the task force.

“The Western Mindanao Command witnessed the unity and cooperation shown by the local government officials and the citizens of Sulu to address the peace and development issues and concerns in the province,” he said.

“Good governance greatly contributed to the gradual change of the province’s image from terrorism to tourism. The establishment of the Task Force Bantay Dagat is a very good initiative to sustain peace in Sulu. Together, let us eliminate the lawless activities in Sulu waters.”





The Manila Times