SOUTHEAST ASIA – Duterte orders the Navy to engage pirates operating in Sulu and Celebes seas

PHILIPPINE NAVY TO INTENSIFY ITS OPERATIONS IN THE SULU AND CELEBES SEAS

President Rodrigo Duterte instructed the Philippine Navy to rid Sulu Sea and Celebes Sea of pirates in order to reduce incidents of piracy in those waters. In his speech during the celebration of Bonifacio Day in Caloocan City on Saturday, Duterte said Chinese trawlers have been sailing international waters and nobody could stop them while they are in the high seas. “But if you commit piracy or piracy if you may, then that gives any nation the right to blow you—to blow you to the high heavens. And we are beset with piracy in the Celebes, Sulu Sea, and the Indonesian waters,” he said. “And my orders to the Navy, I repeat, my orders to the Navy, is that if they are positive that they are pirates, you blow them to kingdom come”. Duterte said he already talked with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on the problem of piracy in waters surrounding their countries. 

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