DND: Upcoming maritime security patrols with Indonesia, Malaysia ‘timely’

MANILA-- The Department of National Defense (DND) has called the soon-to-be launched maritime security patrol arrangement among the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia that would forestall terrorism and piracy incidents in their common seas, a very opportune response.

"It is a timely measure in response to the ever evolving threat of terrorism, not only in our countries but the entire region as well," DND public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Saturday.

"This bodes well for the future of maritime security and safety in our common areas."

Following his meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in MalacaAang Friday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo disclosed that they have discussed the intensified security cooperation in the region.

On maritime security, we agreed to launch the Indo-Ma-Phi (Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines) trilateral maritime patrol as soon as possible, he said.

In combating transnational crimes, we also agreed to conduct a joint working group on counter-terrorism this year, expanding the 2014 MOU on Counter-Terrorism Cooperation and strengthen intelligence information cooperation.

The three Asian neighbors earlier proposed the joint patrols in the Sulu and Celebes Sea to curb the rise in kidnappings and hijackings of commercial ships by Islamic militants in these waters.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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