Indonesia approves plan to receive ScanEagle UAVs, helicopter upgrades from US

Ridzwan Rahmat, Singapore – Jane’s Navy International

The Indonesian House of Representatives’ commission on defence, intelligence, and foreign affairs (Komisi I) has approved a plan for the navy to receive up to 14 ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and upgrades for three Bell 412 helicopters from the US government.

The approval, which is part of an Indonesian government formality for foreign-sourced defence-related grants, was approved by the Komisi I on 26 February.

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Source: janes.com

Westmincom welcomes MNLF help to find abducted physician

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom) welcomed on Thursday the help of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to rescue a physician seized by the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) bandits in Sulu.

Maj. Arvin John Encinas, Westmincom spokesperson, said they welcome any assistance from all stakeholders to rescue Dr. Daniel Moreno who was seized by ASG gunmen from his clinic in Barangay Walled City, Jolo, Sulu, on February 4.

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Source: pna.gov.ph

Coast Guard probes foreign ship for violating PH quarantine rule

DETAINED. The 'MV Harmony 6' is held at the anchorage area of Poro Point in La Union after its captain allegedly lied about their date of departure from China. Photo from Philippine Coast Guard

The Philippine Coast Guard says the captain of the Panama-flagged MV Harmony 6 declared that they left Changzhou, China, on February 10, when the ship’s real departure date was February 18. The ship arrived in La Union on February 23.

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is investigating a foreign cargo vessel for allegedly violating the Philippines’ 14-day quarantine rule amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

PCG Spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilio said that PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia ordered the investigation of the Panama-flagged MV Harmony 6, which arrived at Poro Point in La Union on February 23.

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Source: rappler.com

ASG to demand P30-million ransom for 5 Indonesian captives

By Nonoy Lacson 

ZAMBOANGA CITY –  Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chair Yusop Jikiri Friday revealed that the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG)  will be demanding  P30 million from the employer of the five Indonesian nationals in Malaysia for their immediate release from captivity.

Jikiri said the MNLF has received reliable information that the ASG will demand P30 million from the fishing company where the five work as fishermen in Malaysia.

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Source: news.mb.com.ph

Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: Measuring Challenges and Progress

Only by seeking to measure maritime security dynamics in uniform and rigorous ways can we begin to understand the scope of the challenges and make progress.

By Jay Benson

In the realm of foreign and security policy, the maritime space is often overlooked. “Sea blindness” is real and it is often reflected in the amount of resources and policy attention paid to maritime security and governance around the world. However, as the maritime space gains attention as a theater for nontraditional security challenges and as space of increasingly important economic potential, so too does the need to empirically measure the scope of the challenges and the progress made in the maritime space. There are a plethora of indices, databases, and empirical reporting available on security and governance issues onshore, which contribute greatly to the understanding of policymakers on these phenomena, but the maritime space has yet to see the same application of empirical methods and analysis.

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Source: thediplomat.com

‘Doctor kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf to treat sick Abu Sayyaf leader’

Roel Pareño

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — Abu Sayyaf bandits kidnapped a doctor in Sulu last week to treat their leader, who is suffering from tuberculosis.

Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, Western Mindanao Command chief, said Abu Sayyaf leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan needs immediate medical assistance.

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Source: philstar.com

ReCAAP reports further incidents in Singapore Strait

On 9 Feb 20, two incidents occurred within an interval of an hour to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in the Singapore Strait. Some engine spares were stolen in one incident, and nothing was reported stolen in the other. There was no confrontation between the perpetrators and the crew. With these two incidents, a total of six incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait since January 2020, all in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait.

The ReCAAP ISC had issued five Incident Alerts in 2019 and one Incident Alert in 2020 on incidents occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of Singapore Strait. A total of 31 incidents have been reported in the Singapore Strait in 2019. Of these, 17 occurred to ships while underway in the eastbound lane of the TSS in the Singapore Strait, and 14 incidents in the westbound lane.

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Source: recaap.org