"We can learn the operational and technical strategies carried out in the field to handle terrorism and terrorists in a comprehensive way, including its psychological impact on the community," Indonesian Ministry of Defense's Training and Education Agency head Maj. Gen. Ida Bagus Purwalaksana stated at the Philippine Armed Forces 103rd Brigade Headquarters in Marawi on Thursday.
Abu Sayyaf militant group based in the southern island of Mindanao has kidnapped hundreds of Filipinos and foreigners since the early 1990s in order to get ransom.
The US has named the group as a terrorist organization.
Observers have stated the Abu Sayyaf, Maute, and other extremist groups claim to create a south-base Islamic caliphate for ISIS.
"This will certainly have an impact on Indonesia. Therefore, we need to work and learn together to handle them," Purwalaksana noted.
Malaysian Defense Minister Mohammad bin Sabu noted that eradicating terrorism could not just rely on a militaristic approach.
The militaristic approach is only suitable to eradicate terrorists and not terrorism, he stated. In fact the eradication of terrorism requires awareness to counter such harsh ideology.
"For example, some teachings in religion are misunderstood. In Islam, there are teachings of jihad and martyrdom, which are considered to justify violent acts of terrorists. It is our duty to correct such wrong understanding," Sabu remarked.
Western Region Mindanao Military Command Lieutenant General Arnel B. Dela Vega remarked that fighting terrorism requires cooperation.
"We need to work together to counter terrorism. It is impossible for the military to face terrorism alone, we need cooperation from all parties," he explained.
The joint training program between Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia will continue to be carried out with expanded scope in the future. ***2***
Reporting by Rini Utami