MANILA -- To prevent terror groups from launching deadly attacks against innocent civilians, the Philippines is now working closely with the militaries of Southeast Asian nations to prevent these lawless bands from slipping in each others shores.
This was stressed by Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana in a statement Friday.
He said this cooperation was highlighted by the signing of the Trilateral Defense Cooperation with Malaysia and Indonesia last July.
"That is why, as early as July last year, we have already signed a Trilateral Defense Cooperation Agreement with Malaysia and Indonesia to strengthen our joint efforts in fighting terrorism, piracy and other crimes and strengthen security measures in our common maritime areas," Lorenzana stressed.
This decision was bore by the fact that terrorists are known to cross borders when launching their attacks.
"We assure everyone that our security forces are constantly monitoring possible terror threats to the country. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has long standing instructions to intensify its intelligence gathering and counter terrorism operations," he added.
The DND chief said the agreement also reaffirms the continued efforts in enhancing existing cooperation among the three countries by strengthening mutual cooperation and collaboration among its militaries to address the growing non-traditional security challenges in the region.
Lorenzana issued this statement in the wake of US Pacific Command head Admiral Harry Harris announcement that there is a possibility of more terror attacks in the Asia-Pacific.
"We have also intensified our operations in the southern Philippines by strengthening our naval and air assets in support of our anti-terrorism drive. We have also instituted changes in the AFP leadership, placing people with extensive experience in the Central and Western Mindanao areas," he said. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency