Palace says alleged inhumane treatment against Filipinos in Sabah by Malaysian authorities 'unacceptable'
March 11, 2013 10:53 am
By Lilybeth G. Ison
MANILA, March 10 — Malacanang on Sunday said the reported "inhumane" treatment by Malaysian authorities against Filipinos in Sabah is "unacceptable."
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, in an interview over government radio station "Radyo ng Bayan," said they have been receiving reports from Filipino nationals who were residing in Sabah and have gone back to different places in Mindanao about the supposed inhumane treatment by Malaysian Troops against them.
"These reports are unacceptable. This kind of treatment on our Filipino citizens or Filipino nationals is unacceptable which is why the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs ) will be contacting their Malaysian counterparts to speak about these particular reports," she said.
"This is precisely one of the things that President (Benigno) Aquino (III) raised in his conversation with the Prime Minister of Malaysia na umaasa nga po tayo na hindi masasangkot ‘yung mga ibang Pilipinong nandoon sa Sabah," she stressed.
Valte cited an earlier note verbale that was given by the DFA to the Malaysian government appealing for "humane" treatment for the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Lahad Datu.
"We appealed for full access to them (Kiram's followers) so we can provide them consular assistance and ‘yung humane treatment nga po ‘yung ating hinihingi," she said.
"What more our Filipino nationals who are not in any way involved in the situation in Sabah? Nadadamay lang po sila dahil doon na sila nakatira or they are residing there. So that is unacceptable which is why the DFA will be contacting their Malaysian counterparts about this," she noted.
Reports said Filipino nationals in Sabah are being treated "like animals" when Malaysian forces launched a crackdown on Kiram's supporters.
"Hindi po ‘yan sa atin talaga katanggap-tanggap. Tandaan po natin, kahit ‘yung mga kabahagi po ng grupo ni Ginoong Kiram na nandoon sa Lahad Datu, ano po ba ‘yung hiningi natin para sa kanila doon sa Malaysian authorities — bigyan po tayo ng access sa kanila, makapagbigay po tayo ng assistance to treat the wounded and ‘yung consular assistance, and ‘yung humane treatment for those who are in the custody of the Malaysian authorities," she stressed.
"What more ‘yung mga Pilipinong wala hong kinalaman doon sa nangyayari doon? Hindi naman po naman sila kasali doon," she added.
On the reported "extrajudicial killings," Valte said this has to be validated.
"‘Yung doon sa sinasabing extrajudicial killings, that will have to be validated. Pero the treatments that are being received by our Filipino nationals, certainly, will be the subject of the discussion of the DFA and their Malaysian counterparts," she said. (PNA)