Monday, May 8, 2023

Philippines-Indonesia boost relations, robust border control in latest Joint Patrol

NSFA, Panacan, Davao City - The Philippines and Indonesia (PHIL-INDO) once again bolstered their cooperation in protecting the borders of both countries, as the 37th Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) kicked off this year at Manado City, North Sulawesi, Indonesia on May 3 to 7.

CORPAT PHIL-INDO is a bilateral patrol between the Philippine and Indonesian Navies, carried out four times a year through Harbor and Sea Phases to foster interoperability and secure the maritime borders of both countries against piracy, smuggling, illegal crossing, and other criminal activities.

Present at the event were 35 delegates from the Philippine Border Committee (PHBC) led by LtGen. Greg T. Almerol, Commander of Eastern Mindanao Command (EastMinCom)/PHBC Chairman, and Commodore Carlos V. Sabarre, Commander of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao (NFEM)/PHBC Vice-Chairman.

Aside from the EastMinCom, NFEM, and Tactical Operations Wing-Eastern Mindanao, the Philippine delegation was composed of representatives from government agencies such as Coast Guard District South Eastern Mindanao, Bureau of Immigration, National Intelligence Coordinating Agency 11, Department of Foreign Affairs 11, Bureau of Quarantine 11, Philippine Statistics Authority 11, and observers from the AFP Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, J3.

The harbor phase activities began with successive courtesy calls to Philippine Consulate General Angelica C. Escalona and Commander of the Second Fleet Command, Indonesia Navy/Indonesia Border Committee (IDBC) Chairman, RAdm. Maman Firmansyah on May 3. An Opening Ceremony and Dinner Reception followed on the same day.

Joint patrols of the BRP Artemio Ricarte (PS-37) and aircraft NV-393 of the Philippine Navy and KRI ESCOLAR-871 of the Indonesian Navy along the Philippines-Indonesia border came after as part of the sea phase.

Through the joint efforts and assistance of the respective governments, the PHBC and IDBC also facilitated the repatriation of six Filipino fisher folks from Indonesia, carried by BRP Ricarte on May 5.

Meanwhile, LtGen. Almerol, accompanied by the heads of other government agencies, welcomed the crew of BRP Ricarte and the repatriates in an Arrival Ceremony at CAPT Feranil Pier, Camp Panacan, Davao City, on May 8. He also presented an award to Commodore Sabarre and the PS-37 crew for the success of the 37th CORPAT PHIL-INDO, which contributed to the overall triumph of the Command.

In his speech during the CORPAT's opening, the EastMinCom Commander expressed the willingness of the PHBC to revise and improve the provisions of the 1975 border patrol and border crossing agreement to keep up with the complexities and evolving nature of the current security and defense landscape.

"We welcome endeavors to explore new opportunities for joint development, including countering terrorism and violent extremism, maritime security, and defense industry. The entire Armed Forces of the Philippines commit to strengthen our partnership in all joint endeavors and exert our best efforts to safeguard the maritime borders and best interest of our respective countries," he said.###

Source: Public Information Office, Eastern Mindanao Command, AFP

1 comment:

  1. This is a great job of two countries working hand in hand to combat bad intruders,who will pass below and above the Celebes Sea