Binay: Innocent Pinoys rounded up in Malaysia?
MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also head of Task Force OFW, asked the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to verify reports that innocent Filipinos are being rounded up by Malaysian authorities amid the standoff in Sabah.
“There are many reports emanating from Sabah that are disturbing. The Embassy needs to verify these reports so we can act accordingly. From day one the government’s concern has always been the safety of Filipinos in Sabah. We want to make sure that they are safe and out of harm’s way,” he said.
Binay also appealed to Malaysian authorities to facilitate and allow the entry of mercy ships for Filipinos affected by the conflict.
It has been more than two weeks since the followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III entered Lahad Datu in Sabah, which also signaled new issues arising from the creation of a political entity in Bangsamoro. Kiram claimed they have been sidelined by the peace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
More than 20 have died since clashes started last Friday.
Binay expressed hope that the two groups would soften their stance to avoid further deaths.
“Let’s pray for it. Talks are still on-going (between the Philippines and Malaysia) on how to de-escalate the situation,” he said.
“What is important is that the lines of communication are open and there is continuing dialog. We should avoid taking hardline positions because it will not resolve anything,” he said.