Indonesia seeks guidelines on cross-border anti-piracy drive
DAVAO CITY – The Consulate of Indonesia here said it was seeking a “technical” document from the Philippine government that would outline the rules of engagement that would allow foreign enforcement vessels to enter Philippine shores in pursuit of international pirates.
Speaking to reporters in Abreeza Ayala Mall Wednesday, Indonesian Consul General Berlian Naitupulu said the Indonesian government already has its navy at-the-ready to respond to reports of piracy in international waters, but could not effectively operate in the area as the implementing guidelines for such an operation have yet to be issued by the Philippines.
Naitupulu said that piracy remains as among the biggest challenges to his country’s maritime activities, especially with the Philippines which is one of the biggest importer of coal coming from Indonesia.
Late last year, the Indonesian government limited maritime travel to the Philippines for its vessels carrying products such as coal due to the threat of piracy.
In December, the two governments, along with the government of Malaysia, entered into an initial agreement on strengthened cooperation in the international waters along its boundaries.
But this agreement was only for the sharing of information, with operations such as pursuit of pirate vessels not yet finalized.
Naitupulu said that the Indonesian government was regularly dealing with piracy not only from its shores, but also in the shores of Malaysia and the Philippines.
At the moment, the Indonesian consulate has already sent out at least four task forces here to carry out the necessary diplomatic meets with representatives from the Philippines in meetings here.
In a previous engagement, President Duterte said ships from other countries may help out in patrolling international waters, especially if the incidents concerned piracy.