PH, Malaysia to sign maritime security pact vs. transnational crimes
By Celeste Anna Formoso, PNA
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan — The Philippines and Malaysia maritime police forces are expected to sign soon a formal agreement for stronger maritime security cooperation against transnational crimes, terrorism, and emerging nautical concerns.
Director of Philippine National Police-Maritime Group (PNP-MG) Chief Superintendent Rodelio B. Jocson on Wednesday said they are discussing the fundamentals of the agreement before it can be signed.
The agreement will particularly focus on the areas of operations, undertaking coordinated maritime activities in law enforcement, and prevention of kidnapping, vessel hijacking, terrorism, trafficking of persons, smuggling of migrants, illicit drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and other illegal and criminal acts, he said.
Jocson is in Puerto Princesa for the 2nd Bilateral Meeting of the Marine Police Force-Royal Malaysia Police (MPF-RMP) and the PNP-MG held in Hue Hotel in this city.
“Actually, this will be tackled within the day. It has not yet been signed because we’re still reviewing the terms and condition. Maybe we will finish this within the day, if not maybe we will do that in the next bilateral meeting,” he said in a media conference.
Commissioner of Police Dato’ Sri Zulkifli Bin Abdullah, who is the Head of Delegates and the Director of the Internal Security and Public Order Department of the MPF-RMP, added it will also include cooperation in protecting marine resources from poaching
“For your information, I am also the chairman of what we call the Green Committee in the Royal Malaysia Police, and we have a very keen concern for protecting the marine environment. It has not been discussed yet, but it is important to protect the environment, and we will include that in the next meetings we will have,” he said.
He added that any abuse of the marine environment is also “a crime that should be taken seriously,” especially so that they have had successful operations against illegal logging and poaching of critically-endangered marine wildlife in their own maritime territory.
Jocson said the bilateral meeting will also discuss a lot about coordination protocols to fight transnational crimes and to forge a stronger relationship with their Malaysian maritime police counterparts.
“In order to be successful in preventing transnational crimes, we need our neighbors because if we do not know them, the trust is different. This kind of meeting will forge stronger relationships between us and our personnel,” he said.
Under the proposed agreement, its implementation will respect the principles of sovereignty, territory, non-interference in internal affairs, equality between the two nations, common interests, and international laws.
It will aim to establish a Joint Enforcement Working Group, a Joint Communication Plan to ensure accurate and timely information exchange and intelligence sharing, designate a Maritime Area of Common Concern and Common Area of Operations, and identify Rendezvous Points for smooth and coordinated maritime activities.
The proposed forms of cooperation are the exchange of information and intelligence sharing as may be permitted, the conduct of capacity building activities, and search and rescue or retrieval activities during disasters and emergency. (PNA)
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