Indonesian forces allowed to enter PH territory
The Philippine government has agreed to allow Indonesian forces to enter its territory and join security operations in the case of another abduction of Indonesian sailors by militant groups, a minister has said.
Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said the Indonesian Military (TNI) would be given the authority to take part in security operations to combat militant groups on land, water and air in the Philippines, needing only to ask prior permission from the Philippine authorities.
“I have stated the Defense Ministry’s policy and it has been well received l […] the Philippines are serious about tackling the matter and thus we should also be serious [about improving security],” Ryamizard told journalists on Tuesday.
The decision was made following a meeting between Ryamizard and his counterpart, Voltaire T. Gazmin, on Sunday, following the abduction of seven Indonesian sailors by militants in waters off the southern Philippines, the third such incident this year.
Ryamizard added that the Philippine military had also agreed to cooperate with the Indonesian Navy in guarding Indonesian vessels transporting goods to and from the Philippines.
The Indonesian Military’s operational staff division will coordinate with its Philippine counterpart to set out the technical mechanism, including deciding the routes and the number of vessels allowed to sail at any given time to deliver goods to the Philippines, the minister said.
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