Philippines-Indonesia border crossing arrangement consistent with pact: official

Source:Xinhua Published: 2016/6/29 14:29:24

The Philippine government justified its decision Wednesday to allow Indonesian forces to enter its territory in the event that another kidnapping of Indonesian nationals takes place.

Department of National Defense spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said the border crossing arrangement is consistent with the 1975 agreement of the two neighbors.

"Indonesian security forces are allowed to enter Philippine maritime zones under the concept of hot pursuit in the same way that Philippine forces are allowed to enter Indonesian maritime zones," he said.

The spokesman said that in such incidents the Philippine security forces are as well immediately informed so that a coordinated and joint operation could immediately be undertaken.

"This is a move to further strengthen collective commitment to address, prevent and resolve transnational crimes," Galvez explained.

Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin met with his Indonesian counterpart, Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu, who recently visited Manila, to discuss effort to secure the release of seven Indonesian seamen being held hostage by an armed group in southern Philippines.

The kidnapping of Indonesians by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group was the third in the waters between the two countries.

The seven crew members of Tugboat Charles 001 and Robby barge ship 152 were seized in the Sulu Sea of southern Philippines on June 20, Indonesia said.

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