PH, Indonesia, Malaysia execs to meet in Manila for fight vs terror
Following the launch of their joint maritime operations, the governments of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia will be meeting in Manila on Thursday to further strengthen ties in their fight against terrorism and extremism in the region.
“The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are intensifying defense and intelligence collaboration in the wake of the recent attack of the IS-affiliated Maute group in Marawi City,” the Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on Wednesday.
It said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Cayetano announced on Wednesday that “foreign ministers, top security and intelligence officials will meet tomorrow, June 22, in Manila to discuss plans for intense trilateral cooperation aimed at preventing extremists from establishing operational bases in the Southeast Asian region.”
“The aim is to make a team effort, rather than each country fending off extremism by themselves,” Cayetano was quoted saying.
The meeting comes after the June 19 launch of joint maritime operations of the three countries in Indonesia.
The “Trilateral Maritime Patrol” command center was inaugurated at the Tarakan Naval Base in Indonesia. Present at the event were Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
Warships, speedboats and helicopters were used in a military drill during the launch of the joint maritime patrol, which seeks to push back insurgents. Ships passing through Sulu Sea have previously been hijacked by the Abu Sayyaf.
A report from The Jakarta Post said there is a “sense of urgency” now as the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group continues to have a presence in Marawi City.
“As security concerns threaten the robust economic growth of the region, countries are forging a collective effort against terrorism and extremism,” DFA said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.