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troung
30 Nov 06,, 06:22
Indonesia can now hold operations vs crime, terror in RP
By Jaime Laude
The Philippine Star 11/30/2006

GENERAL SANTOS CITY Indonesian security forces are now allowed to conduct anti-crime and anti-terrorism operations in the country provided that these operations are properly coordinated with the local authorities who will lead the operations.

In the same manner, Filipino police can also enter Indonesian territory for anti-crime operations, which the Indonesian authorities are also obliged to lead.

This cross-border anti-crime and anti-terror agreement was a product of a five-day RP-Indonesia transnational anti-crime summit held here.

Hosted by the Philippine National Police (PNP), the conference that led to this cross-border anti-crime agreement primarily aims to discourage the entry of Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah members into the Philippines and Philippine-based Abu Sayyaf bandits into Indonesia.

Participants in the summit noted that once a major crime is committed by culprits from both countries, usually the suspects try to elude arrest by seeking refuge either in Mindanao or in Indonesia.

PNP technical working group Chief Superintendent Napoleon delos Santos told The STAR both parties are required to strictly observe the implementing rules of the agreement in the conduct of joint cross-border anti-crime operations.

"The agreement only allows (the Indonesians) and also us, to provide support and are not allowed to directly take part in the actual anti-crime operations," Delos Santos said.

He also said such combined operations can only be held upon proper coordination with the host country, which is required to play a lead role in these anti-crime and anti-terror operations.

Delos Santos explained that if a terror or a crime suspect from Indonesia is monitored as hiding in the Philippines, the Indonesian authorities will come over and coordinate with local authorities for the conduct of operations to effect the arrest of the suspects.

"They (Indonesia) are not required to take part in the actual operations, in the same manner that we are not allowed to do the same in Indonesia," he said.

This cross-border anti-crime and anti-terrorism agreement requires the coordinating party to provide the host country with legal documents, such as warrants of arrest and photos of the suspects.

"Kailangan din na may warrant of arrest silang dala (they must also bring arrest warrants) and other evidence that will help us identify their subject. At kailangan palaging (they should always play a) support role lang sila (only), hindi sila pwedeng manguna (they may not take the lead)," Delos Santos said.

The agreement, Delos Santos believes, will address the continuous outflow of local Abu Sayyaf bandits and the influx of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists seeking sanctuary in both countries.

This is a departure from the norm wherein the PNP and other local security forces were left on their own to track down Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists here. Most of the time such terrorists remain faceless.

With this cross-border anti-crime accord, the identities of Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists in the Philippines can be known, Delos Santos said.

Indonesian authorities are also facing the same problem in hunting down faceless Abu Sayyaf bandits and other crime suspects wanted in the Philippines.

"Hindi natin kayang bantayan yong (we cannot guard the) porous border with Indonesia, kaya sa lupa at hindi sa dagat ang malaking pag-asa na malalambat natin sila (that is why our chances of catching them on land are greater than catching them at sea)," Delos Santos said.

http://philstar.com/philstar/NEWS200611300415.htm