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PHL, Indonesia, Malaysia intensifying cooperation vs terrorists

PHL, Indonesia, Malaysia intensifying cooperation vs terrorists”

The countries also agreed to work on enhancing the intelligence and information sharing among all security and intelligence agencies on potential, imminent and real threats; stopping the flow of terrorist financing; containing the spread of terrorism and terrorism-related content in the cyberspace, particularly in social media; and preventing and suppressing the terrorist exploitation of information and communication technology and the dissemination of terrorist messages.

The Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia have agreed to step up joint counter-terrorism efforts after the month-long siege of Marawi on Mindanao in the southern Philippines confirmed cross-border activity among Southeast Asian militants linked to Islamic State.

The ministers discussed a proposed Plan of Action created to thwart efforts by the IS militants to carve out a base in the region, including enhancing "the intelligence and information sharing among the all security and intelligence agencies on potential, imminent and real threats".

Alan Cayetano, the Philippine foreign secretary, said his other counterparts in Southeast Asia will be briefed on developments at a regional ministerial gathering in Manila in August.

"Foreign, military, intelligence officials from the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia had a fruitful and productive discussion on a trilateral cooperation aimed at preventing extremists and terrorists from establishing operational bases in Southeast Asia", Abella said in a press briefing in Davao City.

Monday's opening ceremony of the joint patrols was held on board an Indonesian warship and was attended by security officials from Singapore and Brunei, who acted as observers.

They also expressed their concern over the recent attacks in the Philippine southern city of Marawi.

"We expect that those who will be displaced there will go to Asia and because of the Marawi uprising, the Philippines is like a magnet", said Philippine military chief of staff Gen. Eduardo Ano, who took part in the security conference. Some of them fought alongside local militants in Marawi. The battle for Marawi has so far claimed over 300 lives in the worst bloodshed seen in Mindanao where a homegrown Muslim insurgency has festered for decades.

Indonesia and Malaysia have expressed concern that militants could flee to nearby North Maluku and Sabah. In June previous year, over 20 people were injured in a grenade attack on a nightclub in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi condemned the attack in Marawi and said her government is ready to help. "Your challenges are Indonesia's challenges".

"They were instructed to coordinate with the military and police authorities in their areas in conducting border screening formalities for foreigners arriving in their respective ports", he said. "No action is not an option".

For the Philippines, Cayetano said, all departments of government - from education, social services, health and livelihood - must come up with their plans to help fight extremist ideology by showing young people hurting and suffering that there were other ideas that were not extreme and violent. In the past, terrorists retained a sense of self-preservation unlike today.



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