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PHL-Indonesia joint sea patrols continuing

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PHILIPPINE and Indonesian naval vessels docked side by side in Davao City in preparation for joint patrols against militants in this July 2017 photo. — LEAN S. DAVAL, JR.

COORDINATED SEA patrols are continuing between the Philippines and Indonesia, according to Lt. Gen. Benjamin R. Madrigal, Jr. of the Eastern Mindanao Command (Eastmincom). In an interview, Mr. Madrigal said most of the joint exercises, which also include Philippine naval reserves, are undertaken at the boundaries of Indonesia and the areas covered by the Western Mindanao Command. These are intended to enhance communications, security and law enforcement, and rescue operations. “Remember with the start of the year, we had the chairman’s conference, and (up to) this time we have coordinated patrols,” he said. The military general also said that maintaining coordination allows for the diplomatic resolution of incidents such as the repatriation in April of 31 Filipino fishermen who were detained in Indonesia for illegal entry, fishing and overstaying. Fifteen of them are from General Santos City, and the rest from Zamboanga City, Davao, Saranggani, and Tawi-Tawi. — Maya M. Padillo