Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines inaugurate trilateral maritime patrols

Tarakan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - The defense ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines inaugurated the trilateral coordinated maritime patrols of "Indomalphi" as a response to addressing security challenges in the countries maritime borders.

Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, along with his Malaysian and Filipino counterparts Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Delvin N. Lorenzana, kicked off the inauguration by pressing a siren button on the Indonesian Navy Ship of Dr. Suharso-990 and witnessed the demonstration of "Indomalphi Quick Response" that included a sail past and flypast in Tarakan on Monday.

Commander of the armed forces of each country, Maliki bin Osman as the representative of Singapores defense minister, and Bruneis Deputy Minister of Defense First Admiral (Rtd) Pahlawan Abdul Aziz bin Haji Mohammad Tamit were also present on the occasion as observers.

The trilateral maritime patrols of "Indomalphi" are concrete measures taken by the three members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), under its spirit of centrality, to maintain regional stability, which is currently facing real non-traditional threats, such as robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, and other transnational crimes in the waters.

The three countries also realize the importance of this trilateral cooperation, which is implemented through practical and coordinated maritime patrols that also involve air support.

Ryacudu expressed gratitude that after a lengthy process of coordination and negotiation, the joint patrols to maintain security in Sulu Sea and its surroundings would soon be implemented.

"Maintaining maritime security in the ASEAN region is the responsibility of the ASEAN countries. I am sure they can all uphold their own territorial security and sovereignty," he emphasized.

On the occasion, Ryacudu also expressed concern over the situation in Marawi, southern Philippines, which is currently affected by the conflict between ISIS-affiliated terrorist group and armed forces.

Indonesia, in this case, will support all measures and actions taken by the Philippine military to combat terror acts in Marawi.

"Terrorism, for whatever reason, is our common enemy; the enemy of humanity. Transnational cooperation is needed to fight terrorism whose forms are becoming increasingly dynamic and its scope is increasingly evolving," Ryacudu.(*)