Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia to start joint patrols next week

AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla.


Manila, Philippines, 20 Ramadan 1438/15 June 2017 (MINA — The Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are set to conduct joint naval patrols in the Sulu Sea beginning next week to cease cross-border kidnap for ransom schemes.

In early 2016, several Malaysians and Indonesians have been captured in the Sulu Sea. The abductions were claimed to be activities of Abu Sayyaf, a militant group situated in the Mindanao region.

The joint naval patrols would be officially launched in Tarakan, Indonesia on June 19, Philstar reported, citing Brig. Gen Restituto Padilla Jr., spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

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“The necessary protocols have been set and have been agreed to and that will be the guiding regulations,” Padilla said in an interview during ANC’s Headstart on Wednesday.

He added that the joint naval patrols were undertaken for the past year by the Defense department’s former secretary and his “counterparts” in Malaysia and Indonesia.

In a meeting on May 1 with Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia and Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area, President Rodrigo Duterte asked the head of the said countries to help in solving the cases of kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf.

“We have to do something about this now and I need your help,” Duterte told Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesian President Joko Widodo during their meeting last month.

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The three countries were among the nations who attended the 30th ASEAN Summit held in Manila from April 26 to 29..  (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)