MANILA, Philippines – Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesman Raul Hernandez said the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram is left with no other choice but to “lay down their arms” after the call for a ceasefire was rejected by the Malaysian government.
“After the Malaysian government has rejected the call of Kiram for a reciprocation of their declaration of a unilateral ceasefire, it appears that the only option left for the Kirams in order to save lives with certainty is to lay down their arms,” Hernandez told reporters in a press conference on Friday.
Hernandez said the government’s goal since the standoff began was to “save lives” and “make sure that bloodshed is avoided.”
He said the government will continue to explore avenues to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict in Sabah.
Hernandez earlier said figures given by Malaysia show that 52 Filipinos have been killed.
However, he said the Philippines has yet to validate the report. -- ANC, March 8, 2013