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Phil-Indonesia border patrol

The border Coordinated Patrol between the Philippines and Indonesia opened on Thursday to secure the common border and to curtail maritime crimes like smuggling and piracy.

Col. Ezra Balagtey, the spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom), said the activity was graced by Commodore Ramil Roberto Enriquez, vice chair of the Philippines Border Committee and the concurrent commander of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, and First Admiral Jonias Mozes Sipasulta, vice chair of the Indonesia Border Committee.

Members of the border committees from both countries and

the participating navy units joined in the activity.

Balagtey said the coordinated patrol will be executed in four instances for this year.

“The main mission is to secure the common border, and to curtail maritime crimes like smuggling and piracy,” he added.

Aside from its security purpose, Balagtey said the patrol will likewise provide the naval forces of both countries an opportunity to improve interoperability and capability in furtherance of a safe and secure common border through naval exercise simulating different scenarios.

The Philippines will be deploying the high endurance cutter BRP Ramon Alcaraz while the Republic of Indonesia deployed their Kri Pandrong.

The Indonesian vessel and its crew were welcomed by their Philippine counterpart after making a port call on May 1 at Sasa Wharf.

Balagtey said an exercise and goodwill games were held yesterday. The exercise at sea and the sea patrol will commence with a send-off ceremony around 9 a.m. today at Sasa Wharf.

Lt. General Felimon Santos Jr, the EastMinCom commander who is the concurrent chair of the Philippines Border Committee, said the activity is an avenue to strengthen border security cooperation.

“We are grateful with the continuing support of the Republic of Indonesia on the conduct of the coordinated patrol as this provide both countries with an avenue to strengthen the bilateral relations and explore new border security cooperation,” Santos said.

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