PNP, Coast Guard to keep watch over Bangsamoro waters—Ferrer | Inquirer News
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PNP, Coast Guard to keep watch over Bangsamoro waters—Ferrer

/ 05:32 PM June 02, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Despite maritime issues like piracy and smuggling, the Bangsamoro waters will not be guarded by the Moro entity’s own coast guard, government panel chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said on Monday.

Ferrer made the clarification during the aquaculture and fisheries resources committee hearing in the House of Representatives, which discussed the addendum to the Bangsamoro framework agreement establishing the Bangsamoro waters.

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Ferrer said the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) maritime group are still tasked to guard the country’s southern waters.

She also said the Bangsamoro police, established under the framework agreement, will also guard the waters but they will be under the PNP.

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“There will be no separate coast guard organization to be put up by the Bangsamoro… The Philippine Coast Guard will retain jurisdiction over these waters,” Ferrer told lawmakers.

She said there needs to be proper “coordination and cooperation” between the Bangsamoro police and the government’s police and coast guard on ensuring safety and security in its territorial waters.

“We know that there are many problems in the sea today – piracy smuggling, piracy, and others. But if coordination and cooperation is proper, maybe the situation in the waters will be better compared to now when there are many problems,” Ferrer said in Filipino.

According to the addendum, the Bangsamoro waters will extend up to 22,224  kilometers from the low-water mark of the coasts that are part of the Bangsamoro territory.  The waters will be part of Bangsamoro’s territorial jurisdiction.

The framework agreement also established certain zones of joint cooperation, or bodies of water within the territorial seas of the country but not part of the Bangsamoro waters. The Bangsamoro government and national government will coordinate when it comes to fisheries, movement of vessels, among others within the zones of cooperation, which include waters like the Sulu sea and Moro gulf.

Congress is awaiting the draft of the Bangsamoro basic law from the Office of the President. The law, which needed Congress’ nod, would implement the recently signed Bangsamoro deal that ended the decades-long secessionist movement of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.


 

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TAGS: bangsamoro government, Jurisdiction, Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Regions, territorial waters
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