Warship Bonifacio leaves Davao

THE Barko ng Republika ng Pilipinas (BRP) Andres Bonifacio (FF17) yesterday left the city after its three-day exhibit and recruitment activity in the city.

Iligan City is the next destination of the warship.

Public Safety and Security Command Center chief Ret. Gen. Bentio de Leon, on behalf of Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, represented the city during yesterday’s send-off ceremony.

Coming from General Santos City, the ship arrived last Saturday morning at the Sasa wharf for the recruitment activity and exhibit of its new security assets and resources. The ship has 102 Philippine Navy officers and enlisted personnel.

Capt. Brendo J. Casaclang, the ship’s commanding officer, told reporters in a press conference inside the ship that the BRP Andres Bonifacio is a very significant addition to the floating assets of the Philippine Navy.

“This is a very significant… in maintaining and sustaining the conduct of naval operations, especially in our territorial defense operation,” Casaclang said.

The ship will also conduct naval operation along the sea waters especially in the southern part of the country where kidnapping incidents are usually reported.

Casaclang said the ship will also join in protecting the exclusive economic zone of the country.

“This ship is capable of conducting search and rescue and disaster response,” he said. “This ship is for strategic deployment which means they could be deployed anywhere in the country wherever it is needed.”

In its port-to-post visit in major cities of Mindanao, the ship is opened to the public who are interested to see first-hand its armaments and machinery.

Also currently onboard the ship are 45 cadets of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Salaknib Class of 2017 who are undergoing sea phase training and will be joining the Philippine Navy after graduation.

The BRP Andres Bonifacio is the third Gregorio Del Pilar-class frigate of the Philippines navy.

From 1967–2016, the 378-feet was a Hamilton-class high endurance cutter of the United States Coast Guard named USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719). The U.S. decommissioned the cutter in early 2016 and the Philippines acquired it under the Excess Defense Articles and the Foreign Assistance Act.

The warship was formally received by the Philippine Navy on July 21, 2016, and commissioned to service on the same day at the USCG base at Alameda, California. The ship arrived in Manila on Dec. 9. 2016.

Casaclang said the ship needs repainting and more armaments will also be added.

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