Navy names new ship after La Castellana hero


The Philippine Navy named one of its new ships after the late Marine 1Lt. Lolinato To-ong Sr., from the town of La Castellana in southern Negros.

To-ong, who was honored last year by the municipality of La Castellana, headed by Mayor Rhummyla Nicor-Mangilimutan, was a posthumous recipient of the Medal of Valor, the Philippines’ highest military award for courage.

He died on April 30, 2000, while he and other members of the 52nd Marine Company of the Force Reconnaissance Battalion battled it out with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Matanog, Maguindanao.

The Navy ship, BRP Lolinato To-Ong (PG-902), docked at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila. | PNA photos via @PriamN

The Philippine Navy named one of its newly-acquired fast-attack interdiction craft-missiles (FAIC-Ms) ships from Israel after To-ong.

BRP Lolinato To-ong (PG902) and BRP Nestor Acero (PG-901) for another Philippine Marine Corps hero were formally christened in rites Sept. 6 at the Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila, upon arrival from Israel.

The ships are the first two out of the nine FAIC-Ms acquired by the Philippines from the Israel Shipyards Limited for P10 billion, and are expected to boost the Philippine Navy’s capability to protect the country’s littoral (near shore) zones.

Three more similar vessels are scheduled to be delivered starting this year, while the remaining four units will be constructed at the PN shipyard.

PG902 and PG-901 are both 32-meter high-speed vessels equipped with quick intercept ability, remote stabilized weapons, and short-range missiles that are capable of precision strikes against larger hostiles and high-value targets on land and sea.

Four of the FAIC-Ms will be armed with non-line-of-sight (NLOS) missiles with pinpoint accuracy and a range of 25 kilometers while the other four will be armed with machine guns and light automatic cannons.

The acquisition of eight FAIC-M units is among the 2019 projects approved by then President Rodrigo Duterte under the Horizon 2 List of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program./GB