Spratly Islands of China Spratly Islands belongs to China Spratlys - Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands) of China
www.spratlys.org | Spratly Islands Maps | Spratly Islands News | Spratly Islands History | Spratly Islands Forums | Links
Spratlys > News > English News > June 2005

Category: @News

Arroyo assures Indon leader of fisher's rescue

First posted 04:23am (Mla time) June 22, 2005
By Christine O. Avendaño
Inquirer News Service

Editor's Note: Published on page A2 of the June 22, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo yesterday assured visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is also known by his initials SBY, that Manila would do its best to rescue the remaining Indonesian fisherman still being held captive by a Muslim extremist group.

The President gave the assurance during her bilateral meeting with Yudhoyono as she urged that Manila and Jakarta strengthen their links in fighting terrorism and piracy in their waters.

"We assure your excellency that we are doing everything within our means to secure the safe release of the remaining captive,” Arroyo told Yudhoyono.

On March 30, three Indonesian fishermen were snatched by an armed group calling itself Jamiat al Islamiyah of Southern Philippines while fishing near Sabah in Malaysia and taken to Sulu province. Army troops rescued two of them on June 12.

Arroyo said the abduction demonstrated the need for both Manila and Jakarta to work together to prevent a repeat of the incident.

we present a joint front against transnational crimes such as terrorism and piracy is critical because lawless elements are able to move with ease across our porous borders,” Arroyo said.

Yudyohono was given arrival honors at Malacañang on the second day of his three-day state visit to the country.

Among those who welcomed Yudhoyono's party were Ms Arroyo, her Cabinet and First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, who made a public appearance for the first time weeks after allegations surfaced that he had accepted illegal gambling payoffs.

Saying that Indonesia was "vital to any counterterrorism and anti-piracy initiative,” the President expressed hope that Jakarta would ratify the Agreement on Information Exchange and the Establishment of Communication Procedures, as well as the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Anti-Piracy.

The President also asked Indonesia to support Manila's proposal to adopt a regional code of conduct in the South China Sea to "maintain and promote peace and stability in our region.”

Six nations, including the Philippines, claim all or part of the mineral-rich Spratlys in the South China Sea.

Arroyo also pushed for a fisheries agreement between Manila and Jakarta as she noted that their seas and waters were a "vast potential economic resource that we can work together to utilize effectively.”

During the visit, Indonesia and the Philippines agreed to pool their law enforcement capabilities to fight terrorism in both countries.