The Philippine National Police (PNP) has recently received four Dauntless 30-class aluminium patrol boats built by California-based Willard Marine.
The construction and delivery of the nine-metre patrol boats, each capable of speeds of up to 50 knots, was in fulfillment of a US$2.3 million contract announced in September 2015.
The high-speed patrol boats were formally donated to the PNP Maritime Group by representatives of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) of the US State Department and the US Embassy on Friday, July 10, 2016.
The PNP has held a partnership with the US State, Justice, and Defence Departments for decades, which is said to have made the donation of the Dauntless 30 boats possible. Among other things, the partnership was formed to continually improve the PNP Maritime Group’s capability of dealing with smuggling, human trafficking, drug trafficking, poaching, and other crimes that are committed by way of the country’s sea lanes.
The PNP Maritime Group, particularly the Special Operations Unit (SOU) of the Palawan Provincial Police Office, will be the prime operators of the four boats.
The waters just off Palawan, which have helped make the island province a popular tourist destination, are also being used by lawless elements to commit various seafaring crimes.
The SOU has so far received ten patrol boats via donation from the US State Department to help them conduct law enforcement and counter-terrorism activities in the said waters.
Nelson E. Dela Cruz