3 more royal army members intercepted: PNP

Posted at 03/13/2013 9:37 PM | Updated as of 03/13/2013 9:45 PM

MANILA – Three more Filipinos were intercepted by the Philippine Coast Guard in waters bordering Sabah and Tawi-Tawi Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.

They were reportedly carrying firearms when they were brought on board the coast guard vessel.

They were immediately brought to Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi, where they admitted being members of the royal sultanate forces.

They were met in Sibutu by personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The information was relayed to the media by DSWD’s Kausal Vitug, who was with the group who talked with the 3 Filipinos.

"’Di namin nakita ang baril na nakuha ng coast guard. Pero ang nakita namin yung ID, ID ng Sultanate," said Vitug.

The three have been placed under the custody of the PNP.

Earlier, 34 men and a woman who were allegedly bound for Sabah to serve as reinforcements to the "royal army" of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were intercepted by the Philippine Navy.

Philippine Navy spokesperson Gregory Fabic said the 35 individuals were arrested while boarding two motorboats in Andulingan Island in Tawi-Tawi.

Navy personnel discovered that they were carrying high-powered firearms, ammunition and bolos. -- Reports from Jorge Cariño, ABS-CBN News; Edwin Sevidal, dzMM; ANC