(P14) Centering the Frontier: Re-examining the Indonesia-Philippine Border Zone
Wed 11:00-12:30 K12 | 2.31
- Ariel Lopez University of the Philippines
- David Henley Leiden University
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Border-making in the Indonesia-Philippine ‘Frontier Zone’: Between State Ambitions and Local Realities
Ariel Lopez University of the Philippines
Nono S. A. Sumampouw Universitas Sam Ratulangi
Using a longue durée perspective, this presentation analyzes how colonial and postcolonial states conceived, shifted, and reified the borders between the islands of Mindanao and Sulawesi. It focuses on the changing geographic, legal, and symbolic boundaries of the present and precursor states of Indonesia, on the one hand and of the Philippines, on the other. It illustrates that local flows and geographic conceptions often defy colonial and postcolonial ambitions of state sovereignty and control.
Joko Widodo’s Global Maritime Axis: The Revival of the Glorious Maritime Society?
Amorisa Wiratri Anthropology and Sociology
As an archipelagic state, Indonesia has comprised of hundreds of various communities living on its many islands within the state territory, including agricultural-based and maritime-based communities. When colonising the Indonesian embryonic state, the Dutch focused more on agricultural development and largely ignored the maritime communities. The Indonesian government has continued this policy. Although Indonesia is known as an archipelagic state, most of its policy and development programs during the early state development until the Reformation era are concentrated upon the land, disregard the sea as part of the territory. One of the maritime communities in Indonesia is the Sangirese people who inhabit the Sangihe Islands. This research examined the experiences of Sangirese after the leadership of Joko Widodo. Using the centre-periphery concept, this study analysed the extent to which maritime policies and border management transformation have affected the Sangirese. Online interview and desk research from journal articles, statistic reports, government data and other publications have been used as the primary method of collecting data due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper argues that the Indonesian government, particularly under the Joko Widodo leadership, have not prioritised the maritime community’s culture and welfare. The security and economic approach still dominate border management and neglects the border population’s culture as found among Sangirese.
Terrorism Without Borders: Can Philippines-Indonesia Bilateral Defense and Security Cooperation Fight it?
Rolando Talampas University of the Philippines Diliman
The many meetings between Philippine and Indonesian defense and security officials seeking to forge “close military cooperation” and “promote regional security” have been contrasted with seemingly continuing connections between jihadist elements in the two countries, but chiefly where Indonesians fared more in crossing over transforming into battleground parts of Philippine territory .
All Indonesians, Marwan killed in Mamasapano; Suryadi Mas’ud captured in West Java; Rezky Fantasya Rullie and Ulfah Handayani Saleh captured in Turkey; Muhammad Ilham Syaputra captured near Marawi City; Andi Baso killed in Sulu, and; Inda Nurhaina and Fatima Sandra Jimlani captured in Jolo, Sulu all reveal the centrality of the Philippines especially its southern islands in overall terrorist campaign in the region. Their entry into and mobility inside the Philippines was by and large through the porous border supposedly jointly patrolled by both countries’ forces. Their training and participation in violent acts were occasioned by links with locals that had been trying to raise high the banner of international terrorism.
Penetrability of both countries’ shorelines and effective mobility of said terrorists invite curiosity over the success of operational programs mounted by different actors involved in counterterrorism. How could so many facets of Philippines-Indonesian counterterror cooperation, including bolstering “Islamic education,” be trumped by devoted and violent Islamists? Apart from the socio-economic profile of the affected border areas, do the overlapping maritime territorial claims between neighboring countries hinder counterterror cooperation?
This paper argues that the sophistication and grim persistence of Islamist terrorism pose the greater challenge to defense and security cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines.
In 2019, Indonesia and the Philippines formally signed the “Protocols of Exchange” which reconciles the overlapping exclusive economic zones” (EEZ) between the two countries. While widely seen as an important step towards border egulation, it remains to be seen how such resolution of a legal question would translate to effective regulation of the movement of people and goods as well as the shared utilization of marine resources. With the signing of this agreement as a background, this panel intends to re-examine the process of border-making between the Philippines and Indonesia. How did colonial and postcolonial states establish and reinforce sovereignty and territoriality on a fluid maritime zone? To what extent did government policies reflect changing international norms and geopolitics? Lastly, and perhaps most imporantly, how did individuals (Filipinos and Indonesians) experience the political and cultural shifts in this border zone?