FOREIGN ministers and top security and intelligence officials of the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia are set to meet on Thursday in Manila to intensify collaboration against the terrorists, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.
The meeting will be held amid the Philippine government's fight against the Islamic State-inspired Maute group in Marawi City.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said participants will discuss plans for "intense trilateral cooperation" aimed at preventing extremists from establishing operational bases in the Southeast Asian region.
“The aim is to make a team effort, rather than each country fending off extremism by themselves,” Cayetano said in a statement.
Joint maritime operations by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines to fight transnational crimes and terrorism in the Sulu Sea were launched on June 19 in Tarakan, North Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The Trilateral Maritime Patrol was inaugurated in the Tarakan Naval Base in a ceremony attended by Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.
As security concerns threaten the robust economic growth of the region, countries are forging a collective effort against terrorism and extremism, the DFA said. (SDR/SunStar Philippines)