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Philippines, Indonesia to conduct annual joint patrol to thwart pirates: official

Updated:2017-07-03 15:08:35   XinHua

Naval forces of the Philippines and Indonesia will conduct an annual joint patrol in the Celebes Sea next week to thwart piracy and sea robbery in the backwaters bordering the two Southeast Asian countries, a military spokesman said on Sunday.

"The coordinated patrol is intended to strengthen the security of the Davao Gulf and the common boundary of the two countries in the southern part of the Philippine archipelago along the Celebes Sea," Ezra Balagtey of the Eastern Mindanao Command said in a statement.

Balagtey said the joint patrol will kick off on July 6 at the Sasa Wharf in Davao City, the home city of President Rodrigo Duterte in the southern Philippines.

Balagtey said Indonesian military participants are scheduled to arrive in Davao City on Monday in time for the July 4 "military ceremony" at the Philippine Naval Station Felix Apolinario in Panacan, Davao City.

The coordinated patrol will end on July 12, Balagtey said, adding that a closing ceremony is scheduled to take place in Manado, Indonesia on that day.

Balagtey said the joint patrol is an annual activity of the militaries of both countries.

The Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have recently launched joint counter-piracy and counter-terorism patrol in Sulu-Celebes Sea amid a surge in kidnapping for ransom of seamen plying the region.

The move by the three Southeast Asian countries is to protect commercial vessels that pass through that area.

Sailors from Indonesia were kidnapped, taken hostage and killed in a series of attacks by terror group Abu Sayyaf against ships in that region.

Editor: Eric Wang

Keywords:   Philippines Indonesia