MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) urged Malaysia to provide humane treatment to Filipinos under their custody, especially those caught in the standoff between their troops and the royal army of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
In a statement, the DFA said the allegations of “rounding up of community members of Suluk/Tausug descent in Lahad Datu and other areas in Sabah and the alleged violations of human rights” are already alarming.
The DFA said Malaysia should clarify these alleged abuses.
The DFA said government agencies, such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relevant agencies, will already document these reports so that “appropriate actions could be taken.”
“The Department continues to call on the Malaysian Government to give our Philippine Embassy officials and the Philippine humanitarian/consular team dispatched to Lahad Datu and nearby areas full access to the Filipinos being held ‘in several locations in Sabah but outside the ‘Ops Daulat’ area,’” it added.
The Philippines has yet to get a safety corridor for Filipinos trapped in the incident.
Some of those who flew Sabah for Sulu and other parts of the south have alleged they were treated “like animals” by the Malaysian troops.
Based on a report from Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia, around 33 people more – including four women – have been detained by police in Semporna for allegedly “abetting” the royal army.
Quoting Semporna district police chief DSP Mohd Firdaus Francis Abdullah, the “foreigners” – who have allegedly been sharing information with the followers of Kiram – are detained in Kampung Pinggir Bikau.
They were apprehended during a house-to-house operation early Sunday.