Kirams: To surrender still not an option
MANILA, Philippines -- The daughter of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III on Saturday said the followers of the sultan are standing firm on their decision not to surrender even after the foreign affairs department said that laying down their arms is the only way left to prevent further bloodshed in Sabah.
Speaking with radio dzMM, Princess Jaycel said the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram still won't leave Sabah despite the attacks being launched against them by Malaysian security forces.
"Nananatili po, ganun pa rin ang stand ni Raja Muda and his people that this is honor above life. Sobra na po ang ginawa at sobra pa ang ginagawa ngayon ng Malaysian government," she said.
"Ang gusto lang po nila ay manatili po doon... Ito po ay kanilang tahanan. They want to live there peacefully," she added.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez on Friday said Raja Muda's group is left with no other choice but to lay down their arms after the call for ceasefire was rejected by the Malaysian government.
Malaysian police had said the Filipinos were not showing any sign of surrendering, thus the operation against them will continue.
Hernandez said Malaysian forces are determined to "destroy militants" in Lahad Datu town.
"Ang balak talaga ng Malaysia is in order to preserve their dignity, security and sovereignty in that area ay ubusin sila at ayaw nating mangyari ito," he told dzMM Saturday.
Pregnant women, children
Meanwhile, Princess Jaycel said they received information that Malaysian forces have also been firing at pregnant women and children in Lahad Datu town.
"Tuloy-tuloy pa rin po 'yung mga putukan at ganun pa rin po, maraming tropa na ipinapadala ang Malaysian authorities."
"Maximum tolerance daw po ang ipinapatupad nila, pero there's no truth to that. Maximum violence po ang nangyayari, pati mga babae, mga buntis, mga bata po are being being shot na rin by the Malaysian forces," she said.
Hernandez said, however, that the DFA has yet to confirm these incidents and the total number of fatalities in Sabah.
"Wala tayong information diyan at wala tayong confirmation kasi 'di nga tayo makapasok sa Lahad Datu, sa conflict area," he said.
Malaysian troops said they shot and killed 32 followers of the sultan during the latest assault, bringing the total dead to 60, including 52 militants. Eight Malaysian policemen were killed in skirmishes last weekend.
However, citing information from Raja Muda, the spokesman of Kiram III said 10 royal army soldiers have so far died since armed clashes began last week.
Abraham Idjirani claimed no more royal army soldiers died in the succeeding attacks. He said 235 royal army soldiers have all been accounted for, with 10 fatalities, 10 arrested and 4 injured. -- With dzMM