2 Pinoys flee Sabah by boat

by Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2013 06:53 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2013 11:15 PM

TAWI-TAWI, Philippines - The Philippine Coast Guard on Monday rescued two Filipinos who used a small boat to travel from Sabah to Tawi-tawi.

Jul Ibba and his nephew Gafor Rodjin used a small banca and rowed for 6 hours before they spotted the Coast Guard ship.

They said they were farm workers in Sabah.

However, work on the farm stopped in the last 5 days because of the unrest.

This prompted them to come home to Tawi-tawi.

Relatives of another Filipino, Omar Ismail, are meantime worried after they saw footage of his arrest on television.

His sister said Omar was just a bystander and not part of the stand-off so he should not have been arrested.

Nearly 1,000 Filipinos have fled parts of Sabah amid a police crackdown on sympathizers of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram who continues to evade arrest in Lahad Datu.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said 432 people have arrived since Friday and another 512 individuals on Sunday.

"They were working but have no legal documents to stay there. They are fearful of being asked by Malaysian authorities because authorities are looking for sympathizers [of Kiram]," she told [email protected] - with a report from ANC