PUTRAJAYA — November 10, 2016: The Philippines has granted permission for Malaysia to pursue kidnappers to into her waters.
The approval was granted by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte during a bilateral meeting in conjunction with the president’s two-day official visit to Malaysia beginning yesterday.
“Duterte granted the permission to ensure kidnappers do not get away. He only requested for the Malaysian enforcement unit to inform the Philippines army when on pursuit into Philippine waters,” said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the meeting Duterte.
A similar permission was granted earlier by Indonesia’s president Jokowi.
Najib said the defence ministers of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia will meet in Vientiane on November 22 to discuss the standard operating procedures and legal aspects involved during a hot pursuit.
“Malaysia and the Philippines agreed that the issue (kidnapping) is very serious and affects the peace and harmony of the people in Sabah,” he said.
This year alone, 10 Malaysians have been kidnapped for ransom and from the total, five are still held captive by the kidnappers for ransom.
Duterte also agreed to Malaysia’s request to depot 7,000 Filipino illegal immigrants detained in Sabah while a proposal to set up a Philippines consular general’s office in Kota Kinabalu will be considered.
Najib said the Philippines also no longer required a peace facilitator but wanted Malaysia to continue sending monitoring teams to southern Philippines.
“The peace process will move forward and we will continue with our monitoring team there. They do not require a facilitator since there is no more negotiations. It is more due process and it is more an internal domestic matter,” he said. — Bernama