Friday, March 15, 2013

DFA Statement on the Reported Violation of Human Rights of Filipinos in Sabah

From the Website of DFA

DFA Statement on the Reported Violation of Human Rights of Filipinos in Sabah

Sunday, 10 March 2013 17:05
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10 March 2013
The Department of Foreign Affairs views with grave concern the alleged rounding up of community members of Suluk/Tausug descent in Lahad Datu and other areas in Sabah and the alleged violations of human rights reported in the media by some Filipinos who arrived in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi from Sabah.

The Department is coordinating with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other relevant agencies to document these reports so that appropriate actions could be taken.

The Department urges the Malaysian government to take steps to clarify these alleged incidents.

The Department continues to call on the Malaysian Government to give our Philippine Embassy officials and the Philippine humanitarian/consular team dispatched to Lahad Datu and nearby areas full access to the Filipinos being held “in several locations in Sabah but outside the ‘Ops Daulat’ area,” as announced by the Malaysian Inspector General of the Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar on 08 March 2013, to enable them to fulfill their mission which is to provide humanitarian and consular assistance to Filipinos who have been affected by the incident.

We reiterate our call on the Malaysian Government to give humane treatment to the Filipinos under their custody.

The allegations are alarming and should be properly and immediately addressed by concerned authorities. END


Embassy Humanitarian/Consular Teams Intensify Efforts to Reach Out, Assist Filipinos in Lahad Datu and Tawau

Wednesday, 13 March 2013 15:25
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KL 213 March 2013 - The humanitarian/consular teams from the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur have intensified efforts to reach out and assist more Filipinos affected by the recent events in Lahad Datu and other places.
“We are exerting utmost efforts to reach out to as many Filipinos in eastern Sabah at the soonest time possible. We are making arrangements to repatriate those who express the desire to do so. We feel and understand the anxieties felt by many of our kababayans,” Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya said.
Even as we await the approval from local authorities for full access, our humanitarian/consular teams are working full time to ensure our kababayans’ safety and well-being,” Ambassador Malaya added.
In Lahad Datu, a three-man team from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) led by Undersecretary Parisya Hashim-Taradji arrived there on March 12, and teamed up with the Embassy humanitarian/consular team which has been in the town since March 1.
They now help in manning a mobile humanitarian/welfare desk to further assist affected Filipinos.
Together with the DSWD team, the group again visited the Federal Land Development Authority (FELDA) plantation and met a FELDA official, who committed to help out in allowing the team to visit more evacuation centers and assured them of the safety and continuous employment of Filipinos in the plantations.
According to the FELDA official, there are currently 451 workers and 350 dependents in FELDA, doing mostly upkeep and maintenance work. He also said that there are a total of 1,464 evacuees in four of their centers located at the Cenderawasih Gym, Embara Budi, Fajar Harapan and Gemalapura, comprising of Filipino, Indonesian, Timorese and local workers.
The groups also visited Kampung Batu-Batu, where Undersecretary Taradji talked to the leaders and members of the Filipino community there. Many of them expressed their desire to be repatriated back to the Philippines. The team also provided food items to the children and to those present.
On the other hand, the Embassy consular/humanitarian team dispatched to Sandakan also visited a learning center catering to Filipino children of undocumented migrants. The children and their parents were grateful for the team’s presence.
Meanwhile, the Embassy humanitarian/consular team in Tawau reached out to and met some 50 Filipinos working at the Fook Ngiap sawmill, who were happy to see the team and know that the Philippine Government is concerned about their welfare.
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