PHL, Indonesia to strengthen cooperation on border security to combat global terrorism

March 26, 2012 11:53 am 

By Ben Cal

MANILA, March 25 -– The Philippines and Indonesia will shortly sign the Terms of Reference (TOR) to further strengthen their cooperation in border security and intelligence to intensify the global war on terror, among other objectives.

Col. Arnulfo B. Burgos Jr., spokesman of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), said the signing of the TOR will be held in Mindanao soon.

AFP chief of staff Lt. Gen. Jessie D. Dellosa met with his Indonesian counterpart Admiral Agus Suhartono to discuss the TOR at the just-concluded 2nd Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD) 2012 at the Balai Sidang in Jakarta.

The convention was attended by some 50 security and defense officials and military chiefs from various countries.

The TOR to be signed between the Philippines and Indonesia will further strengthen the cooperation between the two neighboring countries on border security, intelligence, training, education, and other mutually agreed initiatives and activities.

Burgos said the TOR “will enhance the groundwork for facilitating inter-operability in addressing trans-border issues, including terrorism and other criminal activities.”

Both the Philippines and Indonesia are facing threats from extremists, particularly the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a terror group based in Indonesia which was responsible for the deadly bombing in Bali, Indonesia in 2002.

The Philippines is also waging war on terror against the combined forces of the Abu Sayyaf and the JI in southern Philippines.

In his speech, Dellosa said that “even as we each confront domestic security challenges, the interests of our nations are inter-related, and we are all stakeholders of collective security in the international community. Conferences where the sharing of experiences takes place will surely serve to broaden our knowledge and increase our effectiveness in the promotion of regional and global security and stability.”

Dellosa shared the Philippine experience on Military Operations Other Than War (MOOTW), particularly in the implementation of the Internal Peace and Security Plan Bayanihan, the newest strategy of the AFP in the fight against insurgency.

The IPSP gets its support from stakeholders in winning the peace, and has also been the backbone of AFP’s disaster response and relief operations, he said.

“The new IPSP Bayanihan plan opens up space for the involvement of the Filipino people in defining, shaping, and ensuring our peace by focusing on winning the peace, rather than simply defeating the enemy and on building communities rather than hunting rebels,” Dellosa added.

“In the light of the Philippines’ contemporary experiences, and given the mounting importance of MOOTW in international affairs, the prospects for coordination and cooperation in support of regional and even global peace, security and stability are bright,” Dellosa said, stressing the role of international military communities in minimizing armed threats and fighting criminal activities through stepped up peace efforts.

Aside from Dellosa, former President Fidel V. Ramos and Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were also invited to speak on the topic of non-traditional threats.

He also expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian government for its participation in this year’s Balikatan Exercises.

The Indonesia, together with Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea and Singapore, will participate in the scheduled Command Post Exercises.

Two representatives from each country will be resource persons during the simulated exercises on natural disaster scenarios. No troops will be involved in this kind of exercise.

At the same time, Dellosa cited the AFP’s participation in the United Nations’ (UN) peacekeeping missions by regularly sending contingents to conflict areas like Golan Heights, Haiti, and Liberia as well as observer units in Timor Leste, Sudan, India, and Pakistan.

The AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center has been training, equipping, and deploying forces to UN mission areas.

The JIDD was hosted by the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and organized by the Indonesian Defense University. It was attended by defense ministers and chiefs of defense forces of up to 50 countries around the world. It was also attended by international security and law enforcement groups, including the Interpol, United Nations Peacekeeping, European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the USA National Intelligence. (PNA)

scs/RBC/rsm

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