Philippines, Indonesia Sign Maritime Accord

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 11, 2016

Photo:  Kementerian Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia

Photo: Kementerian Sekretariat Negara Republik Indonesia

 The Philippines and Indonesia have agreed to join forces in combating crime on the high seas, after a surge of kidnappings by Abu Sayyaf bandits in waters between the two countries. 

Philippines President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo had signed an agreement to ensure maritime security in the region and affirming both countries’ commitment to fight terrorism and illegal drugs.
Philippines President gave Indonesian forces the right to pursue pirates into Philippine waters, saying piracy is one of the main problems between the two countries.
“We agreed on the implementation of a cooperative framework to address security issues,” Duterte and Widodo said in a joint press statement. 
“We expressed commitment to take all necessary steps to ensure security in maritime areas of common interest, as two of the largest archipelagos in the world recognized the value of maritime cooperation,” the statement added.
Duterte expressed concerns about Indonesian coal shipments to Philippines being stolen by pirates and about the abductions by Abu Sayyaf – an Islamist extremist group based in the southwestern Phillippines islands.
At least 25 Indonesian sailors and a handful of Malaysians have been kidnapped this year by Abu Sayyaf bandits while traveling in the Sulu Sea between Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. 
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