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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Marines receive donated 25-hectare Calayan property for coastal defense

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The Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) has acquired a property in Calayan, Cagayan amid the corps continuing effort to help the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) build the countryโ€™s coastal defense.

The PMC, which has already formed its Coastal Defense Regiment being the first recipient of the soon to be delivered Brahmos missile, acquired a 25-hectare land out of a donation by the Calayan municipality.

Capt. Jarald Rea, PMC spokesman, said the property will be used to further boost the coastal defense of the country in the northern territory.

The property was turned over by Calayan Mayor Joseph Llopis to Armed Forces Northern Luzon Command commander Lt. Gen. Fernyl Buca, Marine commandant Major Gen. Arturo Rojas and retired Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, president of the Philippine Marine Corps Foundation, Inc.

โ€œCalayan, as a strategic location, will help the AFP and the Philippine Marine Corps fulfill our mandate of protecting the people and securing the state,โ€ said Buca during the turnover ceremony.

โ€œAs we perform our duty, it is awe-inspiring to have partners who share the same aspirations and offer simple gestures of generosity for the welfare of our people,โ€ he added.

Cagayan, where Calayan is located, will host American troops and their equipment under the expanded Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the United States.

Two areas in Cagayan will serve as EDCA locations.

Rojas thanked Calayan for the donation, which he said will go a long way in the militaryโ€™s effort to secure the countryโ€™s territory and sovereignty.

โ€œWith this deed of donation, the Philippine Marine Corps becomes that much closer to our goal of achieving a strong coastal defense of our country. Thank you for making a difference through your generosity. I assure you that we will make the best use of this property, which will be for the betterment of your community and the country,โ€ he said.

Rea said the presence of the military in Calayan Island will support maritime governance, border security, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance and disaster response, and local economic development.

Calayan is also a venue for military exercises such as Balikatan and KAMANDAG that involve amphibious expeditionary operations in a littoral environment.

Troops from the Marine Battalion Landing Team-10 are currently stationed on the island.

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