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Jakarta Post

Military option ruled out for rescue of kidnapped sailors

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sun, July 3, 2016   /  10:52 am
Military option ruled out for rescue of kidnapped sailors Parade of loyalty: Indonesian Military troops recently march with artillery in the background during the force's anniversary celebration at the Halim Perdanakusuma airbase in East Jakarta. (JP/Jerry Adiguna)

The government has decided not to consider military action to help release seven Indonesian sailors being held hostage by Filipino militant groups as a show of respect toward Philippine territory and law.

Under its constitution, the Philippines government could not allow Indonesian military personnel to be directly involved in rescuing hostages held by terrorist groups, even though it was the third incident this year, Coordinating Political, Legal, and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said.

"We don't have any Indonesian Military personnel in Philippine territory. All are on standby on our borders," he told journalists at his office on Friday evening.

Indonesian officials were still negotiating over measures to secure the rescue of the crewmen with their Philippines' counterparts under the administration of newly inaugurated President Rodrigo Duterte, Luhut said.

The Philippines government would allow Indonesia to assist Filipino military personnel only if another hostage-taking takes place in the future. The government did not want to be reckless either and seem like it was trying to intervene in the Philippines, he added.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Military (TNI) chief Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said the force had prepared for any possible situation that could occur, adding that the TNI would always be ready to respond to the government's call whenever their assistance is needed.

"However, as neighboring states, we have our own laws," Gatot said. (rin)

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