MANILA – Five Philippine Navy vessels left Zamboanga City on Thursday to prepare for the visit of Pope Francis next year.
The five vessels will be undergoing repairs and training in preparation for the Pope’s visit.
Navy Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, deputy commander for Fleet Operations of Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM), said the navy vessels were deployed to Mindanao for more than a year already, hence the need for repairs.
“Its personnel will undergo training, and as soon as they complete these requirements, they will be used to augment security of the Papal visit,” Bacordo said.
The vessels include the BRP Bagong Silang, BRP Leopoldo Regis, Diesel Fast (DF) 320, 322 and 323.
The five vessels with 90 crew are now on their way to Cavite City to start the training and repair.
“This is a routine rotation as part of an annual navy maintenance and training cycle, so when they pull out ships there are replacements,” Gen. Rustico Guerrero, chief of the Western Mindanao Command said.