PHL exerting efforts to gain access to detained Filipinos in Malaysia

March 14, 2013 10:39 pm 

MANILA. March 14 — The Philippine government will continue to exert efforts to gain access to Filipinos detained by Malaysian authorities following the deadly offensive launched by Malaysia in Sabah, Malacanang said Thursday.

It was reported that Malaysia rejected the Philippines’ request to have full access to Filipino detainees in its custody.

“Our concern is for our Filipinos in custody. We will continue to pursue our desire to seek access to our Filipino brethren who are in Malaysian custody,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told a press briefing in Malacanang.

Asked by reporters about the government’s option if ever Malaysia would not grant the Philippines’ request, Lacierda said that DFA has to work on it.

Malaysian authorities have reported 64 people have been killed during the Sabah offensive, mostly followers of the Sulu sultanate. Also 97 people have been arrested in Sabah. Malaysia said security operations are continuing in the area.

The Philippine Navy reported it had detained 35 suspected Filipino militants on Wednesday sailing home from Sabah.

The 35 people, fleeing Sabah, were seized by the navy on board two small boats from the Malaysian state.

The justice department said it is mulling filing charges against the detained Filipinos for carrying a large cache of weapons suspected to have been used during the Sabah conflict. (PNA)

HBC/PCOO/SSC

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