Jakarta. Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu will initiate measures to prevent further abductions after seven Indonesian crewmembers were reportedly taken hostage by the militant Abu Sayyaf group on Sulu Island in the Southern Philippines recently.
No further detail of the incident is available at the moment.
Ryamizard has scheduled a meeting with Malaysian government representatives to discuss the matter, including efforts to free the hostages.
"I will hold another meeting again in Sandakan, Malaysia. [It is] going to be in April. We will discuss the case [and abductions] there," Ryamizard said on Friday (10/03).
The minister said he would also urge sea patrols to be stepped up in high-risk areas.
Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines previously agreed to implement joint patrols in the region to prevent more abductions and hijackings.
During a meeting of defense ministers in Yogyakarta in May 2016, the three neighboring countries agreed to heighten security in border areas with joint patrols.
The Indonesian and Philippine defense ministers previously also agreed to establish a sea lane corridor between the two countries to strengthen maritime security and put an end to attacks on fishermen in by the Abu Sayyaf.
Watch Indonesia Highlights at 8 p.m. tonight on the Jakarta Globe News Channel and Facebook Live to find out more about the hostage situation in the Philippines.