(2nd Nightlead) De Lima confirms probe of possible law violations of Sulu sultan's group

February 27, 2013 11:12 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 27 — Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima has confirmed Philippine authorities will start investigating possible violations of law committed by the group of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in the ongoing standoff in Sabah, Malaysia.

According to De Lima, the investigation will be jointly conducted by the National Prosecution Service, National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.

If sufficient basis is found, De Lima said appropriate charges will be filed against the group of Kiram.

De Lima believes even if the claim of the Sultanate of Sulu in Sabah has merits, the action they have taken is improper because it's violative of the law.

De Lima also did not discount the possibility that Kiram and his followers will be arrested for their defiance of President Benigno S. Aquino's appeal to Kiram to order his supporters to stand down and go back home.

"There is always that possibility," De Lima said.

De Lima said President Aquino cannot avoid to doubt that there are other groups or personalities behind the move of the Sultanate of Sulu.

According to De Lima, they have been directed by President Aquino to study the possible violations of law committed by the Sulu sultan’s group and the charges they may face in court.

De Lima also warned that authorities will not hesitate to arrest the leader of the Sultanate of Sulu, if they persist with their action in Sabah. (PNA)

HBC/PTR

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