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PH, Malaysia stage naval ‘war games’

The  Philippine  Navy and its Malaysian counterpart  will  hold bilateral military exercise in a move to  enhance maritime security and boost efforts to  combat transnational crimes affecting the two countries.

Dubbed as “MTA MALPHI LAUT 18/15” the joint exercises will be take place from August 24 to 28  in the Sulu seas and involve ships, aircraft and special units from the two navies, according to Rear Admiral Primitivo Gopo, Commander of Naval Forces Western Mindanao through  Public Affairs Officer  Ensign Ian Ramos.

The bilateral activity, the 18th in a series of naval exercise, will be hosted by the Philippines since the signing of the Defense Cooperation under the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries in 1994.

The joint naval exercise came in the midst of the unresolved Sabah issue being pursued by the Sultanate of Sulu parallel to Malaysia’s pursuit for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, as a broker  in  the peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front .

Malaysia has  established a floating naval force  fronting Sulu waters in an   attempt to keep militants from Southern Philippines at bay and provide a buffer zone  for the  expected exodus of refugees from  hostilities in Mindanao.

The Navy said the primary objective of the exercise is to enhance interoperability between the two Navy forces and developed better understanding and cooperation between them.

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