Philippine Coast Guard to Assist Military and Police

MANILA — Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea has issued a memorandum order directing the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to assist the military and police in maintaining peace and order during the state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao.

Medialdea signed Memorandum Order No. 4 expanding the application of the previous memorandum (No. 3) promulgated under Presidential Proclamation No. 55 that put the country under “state of lawlessness” following the Davao City bombing that killed 15 people and wounded more than 60 others last September 2.

Under the memorandum issued on Sept. 26, the PCG shall assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police by deploying additional units and personnel to increase visibility and security in all ports, harbors, and major coastal areas.

The PCG has been tasked to intensify its activities related to the enforcement and maintenance of maritime safety and security to suppress lawless violence at sea.

According to the directive, Coast Guard personnel shall inspect, conduct surveillance, control traffic and marshal all merchant ships, passenger vessels, watercraft and water conveyances to ensure compliance with safety standards, rules and regulations and to prevent any offense within the country’s maritime jurisdiction.

An agency attached to the Department of Transportation, the PCG shall also strictly enforce maritime security communications protocol to enhance detection of any threat to maritime safety and security.

”The Department of Justice shall closely coordinate with the PCG, and other law enforcement agencies for the prompt investigation and prosecution of all individuals or groups apprehended for committing or conspiring to commit, acts of lawless violence,” the memorandum reads.

All government agencies and local government units have been directed to assist the PCG in ensuring the effective implementation of its duties.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 55 on Sept. 4 declaring a state of national emergency on account of lawless violence in Mindanao.