Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sulu province offers to host ARMM police base

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan gestures during a talk with top military and police officials and governors of Basilan - Jum Akbar; Tawi-Tawi - Sadikul Sahali; and Maguindanao - Toto Mangudadatu, in Zamboanga City. Tan has offered to host the main police headquarters of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao which will be built in the town of Maimbung where the Sulu provincial government is undertaking the building of a fish port and cold storage and a college which shall offer courses in fisheries and agriculture. (Mindanao Examiner Photo)

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 13, 2011) – Sulu province in the southern Philippines has offered to host the main headquarters and training base of the police force in the Muslim autonomous region.

Governor Sakur Tan made the offer to Senior Superintendent Bienvenido Latag, chief of the regional police force, in an effort to make it easier for them to effectively maintain the peace and order in the island-provinces of Basilan Sulu and Tawi-Tawi which are all part of the Muslim autonomous region.

The current headquarters of the regional police is located far away in Maguindanao province in Mindanao. Maguindanao in central Mindanao and Lanao del Sur province in the west, are part of the autonomous region, but is also far away from each other.

Sulu province lies between Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, about 8 hours by boat from Basilan or Tawi-Tawi.

“We are offering to host the regional police headquarters of the Muslim autonomous region and we will provide everything, including the training camp for recruits. It will be easier for the police to operate in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi because these provinces are near each other,” Tan said.

Tan proposed that the headquarters be put in the coastal town of Maimbung, whose strategic sea lane is accessible to Tawi-Tawi and Basilan. The Philippine Marines is also interested in putting up a base in the town because of its good geographical location and deep berthing area.

The town is also the site of a huge sea and fish port and a cold storage that the governor is currently working on, including a college of fisheries and agriculture.

Latag said the offer is good and would study the matter. “We welcome the offer of Governor Sakur Tan and we will study it thoroughly,” he said.

Members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police are now deployed in Sulu to augment local policemen and police auxiliary force in maintaining peace and order in the province. (Mindanao Examiner)

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