Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, flag-officer-in-command of the Philippine Navy (PN), sent his condolences to the Indonesian Navy on Monday, April 26, after the death of 53 sailors aboard a sunken submarine in Bali coast.
Indonesian authorities confirmed Sunday that the missing KRI Nanggala (402) was discovered about 850 meters below the Bali Sea, wrecked into three parts with no record of any survivor.
Bacordo sent his condolences to Admiral Yudo Argono, Indonesia’s Chief of Staff, and the entire Indonesian Navy (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Laut) which is a close ally of the Philippine Navy.
“Their loss is also our loss as they are close to the heart of the Philippine Navy being our ASEAN neighbor and strategic partner,” Bacordo said.
The Philippines and Indonesian navies have a long-standing record of cooperation on counter-terrorism, at-sea kidnapping, piracy, and other common security challenges.
Both nations, as well as Malaysia, have entered into a trilateral security deal in 2017 to conduct patrols in the borders of Sulu and Sulawesi Seas and prevent terrorists, pirates, and other lawless elements from carrying out nefarious activities in the Indo-Pacific region.
In August 2019, an Indonesian Navy training vessel, KRI Bima Suci (945), visited Manila for a goodwill visit which was seen as an indicator of strengthened ties between the two countries.
“I am to honor the memories of these sailors through the solidarity and sustained friendship with the Indonesian Navy,” Bacordo said.
The KRI Nanggala went missing last Wednesday, April 21, after it sought permission to dive during a military exercise.
However, it lost connection with the Indonesian Navy after it submerged, triggering a massive search and rescue operation