Camp Navarro, Calarian, Zamboanga City – November 20, 2022
The 11th Infantry Division and the provincial government of Sulu launched the Bantay Dagat Task Force – Sulu on November 19, 2022.
According to Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, the TF Bantay Dagat or Sea Patrol 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 law. The task force is composed of 380 Special CAFGU Active Auxiliary who will undergo military training to be facilitated by the 11th Infantry Division. They will conduct maritime patrol utilizing 95 motor boats.
The launching ceremony was held at Maubuh Beach, Barangay Umangay, Patikul, Sulu, at 11 a.m. Saturday. It was graced by the presence of the Officer in Charge of the Department of National Defense, Senior Undersecretary Jose Faustino, Jr.; Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos, Jr.; National Security Adviser Clarita Carlos; PNP Chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin, Jr.; Philippine Coast Guard Chief Admiral Artemio Abu; Western Mindanao Command Acting Chief, Marine Brig. Gen. Arturo Rojas; Joint Task Force Sulu/11th Infantry Division Commander Maj. Gen. Ignatius Patrimonio; PRO BAR Regional Director, Police Brig. Gen. John Guyguyon; the military brigade and battalion commanders; local chief executives of Sulu led by Governor Tan; other military officers; stakeholders; and other guests.
In his message, Senior Undersecretary Faustino, Jr. said, “We will integrate the operations of the TF Bantay Dagat in our internal defense system to bring about a holistic approach in protecting the Island Province of Sulu.”
Before proceeding to the venue of the ceremony, visiting parties individually paid a courtesy call to Governor Tan at the Provincial Capitol. There were brief discussions regarding peace and development in Sulu. Other related issues were also discussed during the meeting.
For his part, Brig. Gen. Rojas expressed his support for the launching of the TF Bantay Dagat. “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. 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.”
During his visit o Sulu, Brig. Gen. Rojas was accompanied by the Chief of the Command Public Information Office, Lt. Col. Abdurasad Sirajan and Deputy for CMO, Major Abdurahman Jainuddin.