Wed, 05 Oct 2022

ZAMBOANGA CITY - The remaining troops of the 4th Marine Brigade (4MBDE) and Marine Battalion Landing Team-8 (MBLT-8) departed here on Friday completing their pullout from southern Philippines and deployment to the northern frontier of the country.

The troops boarded the BRP-Davao del Sur (LD-602) at Zamboanga City port after the send-off ceremony accorded them.

The 4MBDE, previously known as the Philippine Marine Ready Force served Sulu since 2016 while the MBLT-8 was deployed in Sulu in 2019 after the unit's retraining and refurbishing.

"We send off the 4th Marine Brigade who shall leave the beautiful shores of Sulu in favor of another beautiful place up there in the north," said Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr., commander of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), during the send-off ceremony at the local wharf.

"Much as we would like you to stay in Western Mindanao and work with the Naval Forces Western Mindanao and the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), the requirements of our national security demands you to leave and proceed to another geographical assignment," Adaci said.

The marine troops were deployed in Sulu to combat the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and they will fight the remaining members of the communist New People's Army (NPA) in northern Luzon.

Adaci said there would not be any security vacuum since troops of the Army's 11th Infantry Division will take over the area left by the marine troops.

"The pull out of the marines is a requirement of national security. We have to further strengthen our posture in the coastal areas in the northern part of the country," Adaci said.

He said there is relative peace and "we felt development is slowly creeping in the province of Sulu."

The departure of the 4MBDE and MBLT-8 will leave the 2nd Marine Brigade based in Tawi-Tawi as the remaining unit of marines stationed in the area of NFWM and Westmincom. (PNA)

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