September 1, 2007
Philippines plans to form a super police force
The Philippines will form a super-agency to check movements of smugglers and Islamic militants along its borders with
Malaysia and Indonesia, a senior official said.
Efren Abu, a former Philippine military chief and special envoy to a sub-region within the Association of South East Asian
Nations (ASEAN), said the creation of a coast watch network would also boost trade and tourism in the area.
"We want these tri-border areas to be teeming with ships carrying consumer goods and tourists, not with weapons, illicit
drugs and terrorists," Abu said in an interview.Abu said the proposed coast watch network, patterned after an Australian
model, would streamline the functions of 18 agencies, including customs, immigration and quarantine, improving coordination.
He did not say when it would be created.
Late last year, the Malaysians created such a body while the Indonesians set up their own border security office in one of
their eastern provinces early this year.
Abu said the United States and Australia were willing to help the Philippine government beef up its border facilities,
including equipment such as surveillance and communications systems. Reuters reports