Tuesday, March 19, 2013

AFP to maintain military assets off Tawi-Tawi

MANILA — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Sunday announced that it will still continue to maintain its forces in Tawi-Tawi to ssist in the ongoing humanitarian efforts for Filipino families displaced in the fighting in Sabah.
“We’re going to continue maintaining the function of these assets for humanitarian purposes,” AFP spokesperson Col. Arnulfo M. Burgos, Jr., said.
Around 34 Philippine Navy (PN) ships, a Lockheed C-130 "Hercules" cargo plane and two battalions of troops are currently deployed in Tawi-Tawi.
These military assets are primarily used in the transporting of displaced individuals, relief goods and medical supplies.
“With the enormity of the tasks, we can expect that additional manpower would be needed or deployed on the field,” Burgos said.
On Wednesday, the AFP said it has increased its assets near Sabah, citing that it has deployed 34 Navy ships in the areas near Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, and Sulu.
The PN initially maintained a naval blockade composed of ten ships in February as a hundred “armed” men were reported to have landed in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
As a firefight broke out in March between Sultan Kiram’s followers and Malaysian military, the former increased to more than 300. 
Philippine News Agency/Zambo Times | March 17, 2013 | Article Link

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