BAGUIO CITY –Terrorism and piracy are key security issues that can be positively addressed once ASEAN integration goes into high gear.
This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) public affairs office chief Arsenio Andolong in an interview during the sidelines of the annual Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming Saturday.
“In terms of security, with the coming of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) into our region, it would be very important for all ASEAN states to get together to see that this issue will not develop further,” he added.
Another security aspect the ASEAN integration can hopefully address is piracy in the Sulu Sea as this can develop into a bigger problem if left unresolved.
“If we would not address that now, it would became a major problem that would not only affect ASEAN but countries all over the world,” Andolong said.
He was referring to the recent attacks against merchant and tug traffic in the area perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf bandits and other lawless elements.
The victimized ships are often Malaysian and Indonesian-flagged coal barges and tugs, with the bandits taking the crews and demanding a hefty ransom in exchange for their safe return.
“We hope that all these issues will be addressed once ASEAN defense and security officials start meeting and discussing of ways to remedy these issues,” he added.