Thursday, June 15, 2017

Joint border patrols with Malaysia, Indonesia to help thwart security threats in southern PHL

From the Philippine News Agency (Jun 15): Joint border patrols with Malaysia, Indonesia to help thwart security threats in southern PHL

The soon-to-be-effective joint border patrols with Malaysian and Indonesia will help the Philippines counter the various security threats coming from the southern region.

"This will help the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia effectively patrol, share information and jointly operate to secure common maritime areas," Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong said to the PNA Thursday.

And with terrorism and transnational crimes like drug trafficking, human smuggling starting to became major security concerns, the defense official said the joint border patrol is a example of a concrete response.

Incidentally, Philippine forces are now engaged against Maute Group terrorists who have conducted many attacks in Marawi City following attempts to arrest Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon last May 23.

Fifty eight troopers have been so far killed with an estimated 206 terrorists neutralized along with 26 civilians have been executed in the now fourth week of fighting.

"We have to remember that we now face evolving threats that go beyond borders that necessitate responses on an international scale," he added.

Defense and military officials of the Southeast Asian nations are set to meet in Tarakan Island, Northern Borneo to discuss security concerns and sign up an agreement to step up joint border patrols.

Meanwhile, Philippine Navy (PN) flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Ronald Joseph Mercado said they strongly support this security initiative.

"The PN supports this action because the vast maritime area in the southern Philippines is a big challenge for one country to monitor," he added.

"Better monitoring and surveillance of the vast maritime domain will be done by multi-lateral joint patrols," Mercado said.

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