Groups condemn crackdown on Pinoys in Sabah
MANILA - Militant groups protested Wednesday in front of the Malaysian Embassy to condemn the ongoing crackdown against Filipinos in Sabah.
The militants, led by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), appealed to Malaysia to end the police and military operations which have displaced thousands of Filipinos.
The demonstrators also pressed Malaysia to allow independent parties including foreign media to investigate reports of human rights abuses and to provide all forms of humanitarian assistance to Filipinos.
Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes also hit the Aquino administration for not acting on reports of human rights abuses until these are validated and documented.
Reyes said the government should just look at the thousands of evacuees who risked their lives by sailing from Sabah to the Philippines.
"Dito nakikita ang ka-inutilan ng Philippine government. Napaka-technical nila, ano pa ang hinanahanap nila? Nagsiuwian na nga ang mga Pilipino doon, ang burden of proof nasa biktima pa?" he said.
He added the evacuees will also probably refuse to write formal statements because some of them are still hoping to return to Sabah.
Meanwhile, members of the Initiatives for International Dialogue (IDD) also went to the Malaysian Embassy to hand over a letter addressed to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
IID Executive Director Gus Miclat said the letter, signed by civil society organizations in Malaysia and the Philippines, is asking for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the conflict-affected areas.
Miclat said the group will also forward a copy of the letter to President Aquino and the camp of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.