In a statement released today, March 21, National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana said the Department of National Defense (DND) is opposing the proposal to make the Philippine Marines a separate service from the Philippine Navy.
The defense chief cited 4 main reasons.
First, Secretary Lorenzana said “the marines are expeditionary forces. In other countries like the US, their Marines, upon which we patterned ours, are utilized for overseas deployment. That is also true with the Royal Marines of the UK. Both units are invasion forces embedded with their navies.
“The Philippines, on the other hand, will not be invading foreign shores anytime soon or ever,” he said.
Secretary Lorenzana said, as second reason, “the Philippine Marine Corps is basically a ground force and as such, they are now deployed as an infantry force in Mindanao. Making them a separate service doing the same functions as the Army will mean there will be two ground forces in the country.”
Third, he said “the Philippine Marine Corps claims that they have particular skills like ship-to-shore operations. The Philippine Army could easily learn these skills.”
“When the Philippine Marines was created in 1950 by a GHQ order, it was designed as a light, hard striking force to pursue, pirates and smugglers. It was originally part of the Philippine Naval Patrol, which was the forerunner of the Philippine Fleet. In short, the Philippine Marines was created as an adjunct of the Philippine Navy and it was envisioned as a small force only,” Secretary Lorenzana said as fourth reason.
The separation of Philippine Marine Corps (PMC) from the Philippine Navy is being proposed in both Senate and House the Representatives through Senate Bill 1731 and House Bill 7304, respectively.