Shifting Tides in the Sulu-Celebes Sea
By Reginald Ramos
The Philippine militants, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG), have emerged as the predominant actors operating within the Sulu-Celebes Sea, in which they had successfully kidnapped more than 50 sailors and generated roughly US $7.3 million dollars in hostage revenue in the past year alone. In response, the littoral states of the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia have revitalised trilateral diplomatic efforts to strengthen a regional comprehensive framework to counter maritime piracy and kidnapping, however, there remains a failure to address many of the fundamental challenges that has so far resulted in a failure to shift the tides of the reality on the ground.
The following report was prepared by Reginald Ramos, Research and Program Assistant at the Perth USAsia Centre.