DEFENSE Secretary Delfin Lorenzana will be meeting with his Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts to tackle kidnappings in the high seas perpetrated in particular by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG).
According to Lorenzana, such kidnappings are getting worse and authorities should immediately find ways to address them.
He said on Wednesday that the meeting would be a continuation of earlier talks of his predecessor Voltaire Gazmin with Malaysia and Indonesia’s defense chiefs.
Lorenzana added that he had participated in those talks but he refused to divulge details, describing them as operational in nature.
“[I cannot tell you what we are going to do in the South to control movements of boats and we can prevent the pirates, the kidnappers, from taking crew, crew of tugboats, or passenger boats or fishing boats. So we are doing something about that and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can come out again and talk],” he said, referring to southern Mindanao.
A day before leaving his office, Gazmin had announced that the Philippines and Indonesia forged an agreement allowing the latter’s security forces to cross into Philippine territory if they are in pursuit of criminals or terrorists.
He said the agreement was based on a 1975 border agreement that applies the principle of hot pursuit.