From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 16): PHL to conduct more border patrols to prevent another Sabah incident
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief-of-staff Gen. Emmanuel T. Bautista
said that the military will conduct more patrols in common maritime borders with
Malaysia to prevent breakaway factions of Muslim rebel group from entering and
creating civil unrest in Sabah.
Bautista issued this statement in wake of the tense stand-off between
Malaysian authorities and 200 Filipino Muslims who illegally entered Lahad Datu,
Eastern Sabah and claimed the land as theirs last week.
Malaysian authorities have contained the incident and placed these
individuals in a secure location after defusing the situation peacefully.
"The chief of the Malaysian defense forces, Gen. Tan Sri Dato' Sri Hj
Zulkifli Hj Zainal Abidin, has requested us to patrol our borders as they will
patrol their side to prevent illegal entrants so that the situation in (Sabah)
will get further complicated," he added in an interview during the Philippines
Military Academy alumni homecoming in Baguio City.
He also stressed that the Filipino Muslims will soon be repatriated.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said that the activities of
this Filipino group, whose presence in the area remains a mystery, was “not
sanctioned” by the Philippines government.
DFA Secretary Alberto Del Rosario sought the assurance of the Malaysian
authorities to ensure that the rights of those Filipinos, who the DFA claimed
are “permanent residents in Sabah and who may be among the group,” are
“In this regard, we therefore urge these concerned individuals to return to
their homes and families,” he added.