Coast Guard readies 2 ships to fetch Filipinos in Sabah-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
MANILA -- Two Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) vessels have been prepared in Zamboanga City to assist Filipinos in Sabah who would need evacuation due to the ongoing stand-off, an agency official said Tuesday.
The vessels BRP-Edsa and BRP-Davao del Norte are "just waiting orders" from the Department of Foreign Affairs to be deployed in the border of the Philippines and Malaysia, PCG public affairs chief commander Armando Balilo said in the agency's website.
Since the vessels' mission is humanitarian in purpose, Balilo said the PCG is hoping that Malaysia will allow them to fetch Filipinos wanting to leave Sabah due to the recent events.
"I think its borderless if we are talking of humanitarian assistance especially that the Philippine Government just want to assure the safety of our fellow countrymen living or working in Sabah," said Balilo.
President Benigno Aquino III said in earlier statements that there are currently 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah.
The stand-off started early February when 200 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III went to Lahad Datu town in Northern Sabah to press their claim on the territory. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)