The Jakarta Post
The government must be proactive in implementing the trilateral agreement on sea patrols with Malaysia and the Philippines to maintain security throughout the maritime border areas of the three countries, a lawmaker has said.
"The agreement has cemented cooperation but the effects have not yet been apparent," deputy chairman of House of Representatives' Commission I overseeing defense and foreign affairs T. B. Hasanuddin said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Hasanuddin said the commission had not received a report from the government on the progress regarding the maritime security cooperation that was agreed during a trilateral meeting in Yogyakarta at the beginning of May.
He emphasized the necessity of outlining the technical details of the cooperation, including the duration of the patrols and the areas that would be the focus of attention due to security concerns.
Recently, seven Indonesian crewmen aboard a tugboat were abducted by two different groups of armed militants within the span of two hours in the waters of southern Philippines. This was the third incident of its kind, with the previous two occurrences perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf militant group.
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines must defeat the pirates in their regional waters, Hasanuddin asserted, pointing out that the three governments had better facilities in comparison to the hostage takers.
He suggested that Indonesia could actively comb the small islands in the Philippines that were suspected of being hideaways for pirates and subsequently catch them off-guard.
"But of course, security activities would need permission from the Philippines, we can't do it directly," said the politician from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) in reference to the Philippine constitution which prohibits foreign troops operating in its territory. (liz/bbn)
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