Lawmaker: Malaysia courting insurgency from Filipinos-A A +A
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
HUMAN rights abuses committed by Malaysian authorities in Sabah may result in a long term insurgency from Filipinos residing in the resource-rich state, a party-list lawmaker warned.
"Malaysia is courting a long term insurgency if it persists in committing abuses against the very people who have inhabited Sabah for decades or no one is held to account for the atrocities," Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares said Tuesday.
Filipinos residing in Sabah have evacuated to Tawi-Tawi in the southern Philippines as Malaysian forces proceed with its crackdown on the armed followers of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
Colmenares urged the government to hold high-level talks its counterpart in Malaysia to ensure that the rights of Filipinos are safeguarded and to insist that Philippine human rights groups be allowed access to the area of conflict.
"Sabah is home to hundreds of thousands of our countrymen, we should do something for them instead of just waiting for thousands of possible refugees to arrive in Tawi-tawi," he said.
In a radio interview, Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chairperson Etta Rosales said she is looking into the possibility of conducting a joint mission with the human rights body of Malaysia to verify reports of abuses in Sabah.
"Together we can go on a mission to Sabah in order to look into the situation. I'm writing a letter already to the Commission on Human Rights of Malaysia to be able to do that," she said.
House Committee on Human Rights vice-chairperson and Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles said the atrocities committed by Malaysian forces are "totally unacceptable."
These attacks on Filipino civilians should prompt Congress to conduct a formal inquiry on the Sabah crisis, Nograles said as he urged President Benigno Aquino III to call for a special session. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)