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PH-Indonesia naval drills held in Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines: Philippine and Indonesian naval troops staged cross border exercises in eastern Mindanao to protect their territorial waters against transnational crimes

The drills involved Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) through Sea Phase maneuvers by Indonesian and Philippine patrol ships KRI Tongkol and BRP Artemio Ricarte.

«The seas continue to present challenges and new ones may emerge in the future. It is imperative that we remain vigilant and ready to face these challenges together, as partners and as friends. Our shared commitment to maritime security and regional stability must remain steadfast,» Lt. Gen. Greg Almerol, Eastern Mindanao Command chief, said.

The first leg of the exercise was on March 16-17, second leg on May 3-7 and third leg on September14-16 — all in Manado, Indonesia.

Commodore Carlos V. Sabarre, Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao commander, attended the closing ceremony for Almerol as head of the Philippine contingent, while First Admiral TNI Teguh Prasetya, commander of Maritime Security Task Force, 2nd Fleet Command, Indonesian Navy, led the Indonesian delegation.

«Once again, we have witnessed a successful CORPAT PHILINDO done by the Philippine Navy and Indonesian Navy. We ensure that the results of Coordinated Patrol will contribute to a stronger and closer partnership of the Philippines and Indonesia,» Admiral. Prasetya said.

Meanwhile, Sabarre emphasized the stronger cooperation and relationship between Indonesia and the Philippines through the continuous interaction of both countries' armed forces.

«Over the course of this operation, we have witnessed the strength of our partnership, the professionalism of our forces, and the shared commitment to security and stability. This CORPAT Philippine-Indonesia has been an effective avenue to further enhance the spirit of comradeship, mutual respect as well as strengthening our bond as neighboring countries,» he said.

Some of the accomplishments logged during this year's CORPAT includes the repatriation of six Filipinos from Indonesia to the Philippines aboard the PS-37 on May 5 and the interception of the fishing vessel M/B Princess Sarah, carrying 600 master cases of smuggled cigarettes