Saturday, December 12, 2015

South China Sea Controversy Update: China Conducts Live-Fire Exercises As Tensions Remain High

From the International Business Times (Dec 12): South China Sea Controversy Update: China Conducts Live-Fire Exercises As Tensions Remain High

South China Sea

Philippine marines man their anti-aircraft gun emplacement near the venues of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila, during the event's first day, Nov. 16, 2015. Regional tensions remain high over the South China Sea.

As tensions remain high over the South China Sea, China’s navy has conducted live-fire exercises in recent days, Reuters reported Sunday local time. China’s Defense Ministry said the drills were routine as other countries in the region continue to boost their own forces.

“The People's Liberation Army Navy in recent days organized a fleet to go to relevant seas in the South China Sea, by way of the Western Pacific, to carry out exercises,” a statement from the ministry said. “This action is a routine arrangement made in accordance with this year's naval training plan.”

The ministry gave no further information on the duration or type of drills. Chinese state-run media reported that live-fire drills took place but did not report a specific location.

The South China Sea region is disputed, with China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei all laying claim to various areas. China has claimed a large portion that is significant for economic reasons because of maritime trade and undersea resources.
Embedded image permalink
Embedded image permalink
Embedded image permalink
Embedded image permalink      
InPic: #Striking moments of the live fire #drill conducted by South #China Sea Fleet lately.

“[Both] sides agreed on a broad framework for defense cooperation in five key areas, namely in the military, policy, strategic and technology spheres, as well as cooperation against non-conventional security challenges, such as piracy and transnational terrorism,” the U.S. Department of Defense said in a statement describing the relationship with Singapore.

Last month, Philippine President Benigno Aquino approved the purchase of $932 million of military equipment, including South Korean fighter jets, to help the country increase its security, Reuters reported. The U.S. has operated Poseidon spy planes from the Philippines and Japan in the past.

Notorious Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Zamboanga

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 13): Notorious Abu Sayyaf member arrested in Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police and military authorities arrested a notorious member of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) who is facing a string of criminal cases for kidnapping and illegal detention.

Culianan Police Station Chief, Police Senior Inspector Elmer P. Solon said combined police and military men swooped down the suspected hideout of Basir Kadir Juljani alias Abu Omar, 37, in a remote area of  Barangay Sangali.
(Photo courtesy of Google Maps)
Solon said Juljani was arrested about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at his hideout, without putting any resistance to the government group.

The police chief of Culianan said Juljani is facing criminal cases for kidnapping and serious illegal detention.

The warrant for the arrest of Juljani was issued by Judge Leo Jay T. Princepe, presiding judge of Branch 1 of the 9th Judicial Branch in Isabela City, Basilan province on January 28, 2008.

Solon said his office has no idea if who were the victims of Juljani as they are only implementing the Warrant of Arrest issued by Judge Princepe.

Juljani was immediately brought to the police station of Culianan for documentation before turning him over to the proper court for disposition.

The police in the city are on hot trail on the whereabouts of suspected ASG in this city, evading arrest in Basilan and Sulu province.

They also strengthened their intelligence network to boost their search for wanted ASG who are hiding in the city.

3 dead in Negros clash

From Tempo (Dec 13): 3 dead in Negros clash

An Army trooper and two communist guerrillas were killed in the latest encounter between government forces and the New People’s Army in Negros Occidental.

Major Ray C. Tiongson, Army 3rd Infantry Division public affairs officer, said one soldier was also wounded in the clash in Sitio Bugtong Lubi, Barangay Damutan, Hinobaan, Negros Occidental at around 7:40 a.m. Friday.

According to Tiongson, troops from the Army 79th Infantry Battalion, 3rd ID were conducting security patrol in the area when they were fired upon by approximately 12 NPA rebels.

A 15-minute exchange of fire ensued before the rebels withdrew to different directions.

The military have yet to identify the slain rebels while killed on the government side was Corporal Jonathan Egaran.

The wounded soldier, on the other hand, was identified as Corporal Melbin Legaspi who now in stable condition.

“Recovered from the scene of encounter were one M653 baby Armalite rifle, two rifle grenades, a magazine with live ammunition, personal belongings, and subversive documents,” said Tiongson.

AFP ready to declare Agusan del Norte insurgency under ‘manageable’ level

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 13): AFP ready to declare Agusan del Norte insurgency under ‘manageable’ level

BUTUAN CITY – The New People’s Army (NPA), armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is no longer capable of mounting large-scale operations — a local insurgency situation that is leading government peacekeepers into declaring the province of Agusan del Norte as already a “conflict-manageable and ready for further development (CMRFD)” area.

This was recently bared by a ranking ground Army commander during a year-end press forum at the region’s premier and capital city of Butuan.
“Yes, we are set to declare soon Agusan del Norte as insurgency-free,” stressed Col. Alexander L. Macario, commanding officer of the Army’s 401st Infantry (Unite N’ Fight) Brigade.

The ranking Army commander in the area also disclosed that rebel unit operating within the so-called “guerrilla zones” in the province has dwindled to only a handful of demoralized combatants not capable of major anti-government operations.

“The remaining small-unit of NPAs hit and run atrocities is just to show their presence in the area. . . to implement their unlawful force taxation but not anymore capable to stage large-scale operation,” claimed the ground Army commander.

Col. Macario assured that “this small band of NPAs in the area will soon be crushed”.

The 401st Brigade along with some combat maneuvering battalions spread all over the Agusan province and its cities, is assigned to the internal security of the province by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from the threats of NPA uprising which since 45 years ago until lately had destabilized the local peace and order situation.

Col. Macario said the weakening and demoralization of the NPA Agusan del Norte units were due to the massive military operations, peace and development program that resulted in the recent clearing of the remaining far-flung barangays that served as the rebels’ last stand and the fall to the hands of lawmen of some of their prominent leaders.

In that same press forum last week, Maj. Gen. Oscar T. Lactao, commanding general of the AFP Northeastern and Northern Mindanao 4th Infantry (Diamond) Division (4th ID) also declared that the government’s all-out peace and development drive against the communist insurgency is gaining headway in Mindanao as more regular fighters of the NPA gave themselves up to government while other top communist officials were captured in 4th ID area of responsibility (AOR).

He said 43 former NPA regular fighters with their 29 firearms returned to the mainstream society recently and received cash support and livelihood programs from the government through the Comprehensive Local Integration Program (CLIP).

“We’re gaining headway,” declared Gen. Lactao on Wednesday.

Among the significant accomplishment of the AFP is the arrest of top CPP-NPA officials this year, he said.

Gen. Lactao cited the arrest of Rone Mae Callao, alias “Dianne/Iram”, secretary of guerilla-Front Committee 30-A and regional financial staff and medical staff of CPP-NPA Northeastern Mindanao Regional Committee; and Teresita Olarte, alias “Maya”, head of medic of the North-Central Mindanao Regional Committee, both in September this year.

“All in all for the whole year 2015, we have a total of 126 NPA captured, killed during combat operations while also seized 269 assorted firearms and several war materials including subversive documents with high intelligence value, during 226 combat operations, “ the area commander of the AFP in Mindanao said.

“We also cleared 76 barangays that were former stronghold of the NPA,” Gen. Lactao pointed out.

In the normalization process, out of eight provinces in Regions 13 and 10, only four remaining provinces are undergoing normalization process, he said.

“On February 10 this year, the provinces of Camiguin and Siargao Islands were declared as insurgency free while the province of Surigao del Norte as peaceful and ready for further development last Sept. 20, also this year,” the 4th ID chief added.

Tiamzon couple insists murder raps fabricated

From the Manila Times (Dec 12): Tiamzon couple insists murder raps fabricated
POLITICAL prisoners Wilma Tiamzon and Benito Tiamzon reiterated that the murder charges filed against them were fabricated by the military.

In a hearing last Thursday, Edwin Zata of the Philippine National Police –Region 8 said he was part of the Scene of the Crime Operatives (SOCO) team who went to the alleged mass grave in Inopacan, Leyte in August 2006.

The Tiamzon couple is among the 70 who were charged in connection with the alleged mass grave.

The military tagged the Tiamzon couple as top-ranking leaders of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the New People’s Army. They were arrested in Cebu.

“Based on Zata’s testimony, it is clear that the Army’s 43rd Infantry Battalion is behind all of this,” Wilma told shortly after the hearing at the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 32.

Military’s hand

Zata told the court that elements of the Army’s 43rd IB “briefed” the SOCO team and led them to the alleged mass grave.

Zata also said that when they reached the site, about six civilians were already digging and skeletal remains and clothes were on the surface.

Judge Thelma Bunyi-Medina asked Zata: “Did it not occur to you to order the men to stop the digging?” Zata replied in the negative.

Medina also asked Zata if he bothered to get the names of the civilians. Zata said, “No.”

Zata said his team washed the skulls and marked each with a number. Asked by Medina on the number of skulls, Zata replied, “More or less 30 or 31.”

The police officer also said that two civilians brought two more sacks of skeletal remains to the site. Zata said they were told that the remains came from the other side of the mountain.

Rachel Pastores, one of the defense lawyers, said the SOCO team’s methods of identifying the alleged victims are “questionable.”

Pastores added that Zata’s testimony is different from his statement during the hearing on the bail petitions of the accused.

Travelling skeletons
Pastores reiterated that the Hilongos case is “recycled.”

Pastores said five of the alleged victims, whose skeletal remains were allegedly found in Monterico village, Baybay, Leyte on June 27, 2000 were the same alleged victims in the Hilongos case, whose skeletal remains were allegedly found on August 26, 2006 in Mt. Sapang Dako, Inopacan, Leyte.

“The victims died twice and their bodies were found in two different places,” Pastores said.

Zata failed to finish his testimony due to errors in the marking of pieces of evidence of the prosecution.

The next hearing is scheduled on February

Moro fronts call for unity among Bangsamoro people

From ABS-CBN (Dec 12): Moro fronts call for unity among Bangsamoro people

MAGUINDANAO - Leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Saturday held a unification and reconciliation meeting in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

MILF 1st Vice Chairman Ghazali Jaafar led the meeting with leaders from different factions like Abulkaihr Alonto and former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Assemblyman Romeo Sema who represented Muslimin Sema.

Although MNLF founder Nur Misuari was not around, Alonto said Misuari has shown and expressed his interest to join the unification and reconciliation.

The leaders expressed their optimism and hope that the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) will still be passed under President Aquino's term.

They will also continue pushing for the BBL even in the next administration, if it fails to be passed under the Aquino administration. They, likewise, are pushing for unity among the Bangsamoro people.

Jaafar said that at present, the Moro people are divided as some are supporting different leaders who have different positions on the BBL.

Alonto, a leader of another MNLF faction, insisted the MNLF is still one and that there is only one MNLF organization.

He conveyed his message to his brother in the struggle, Muslimin Sema, who also leads the fifteen-man Council. He also told Sema to find time and visit Misuari.

Alonto added they will settle the organization's internal problems and assured the public they can resolve it.

The MNLF Sema faction already expressed their unity with the MILF in the call for an autonomy under the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB). The faction believes the provisions not implemented in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement can be incorporated in the BBL
Alonto also expressed his support for the BBL.

The MILF and other MNLF leaders will continue convincing Misuari to join them in their call.

According to Jaafar, when Moro leaders are on the same track towards the goal of achieving the Bangsamoro government, the Philippine government will most likely listen to them.

The leaders also refrained from answering questions on who they will support among the presidential candidates. Dialogues between the leaders will continue as they call for unity.

Lumad rap 24 groups in slays

From The Standard (Dec 12): Lumad rap 24 groups in slays

THE Aquino administration and 24 militia groups armed by the military are the ones to blame for the violations of the human rights of indigenous people in Mindanao, called the lumad, according to a group of tribal leaders who have been lobbying for an end to the rights violations.

Kerlan Fanagel, one of the leaders of the Manilakbayan ng Mindanao, made the accusation after United Nations country representative and humanitarian coordinator Ola Almgren called for an end to the rights violations and the comprehensive implementation of the Indigenous People’s Rights Act.

“President Aquino has a lot to answer to the UN for most of the policies he issued under his term have brought a long list of human rights violations to the lumad people. Hence we call him as the main perpetrator of lumad killings,” Fanagel said.

“These kind of policies have targeted the lumad because of our continuing resistance against the plunder of our resources. As long as the Philippine government prioritizes the needs of foreign companies over the needs of the lumad people then the killing of lumad will never stop,” he added.

Fanagel lauded Algrem’s statement because it supports the call for justice of the oppressed lumad.

“We laud UN Country Representative Algrem for putting forward these measures. We also hope that the UN country representative can pressure President BS Aquino and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to pull-out military troops in the community as this is one of the primary reasons why there are continuing killings, harassments and displacement of lumad,” said Fanagel.

He added that the UN humanitarian coordinator should also look into reports pointing to the Armed Forces of the Philippines as the one behind the lumad killings and the coddling of paramilitaries responsible for the lumad killings.

Fanagel said that the paramilitary groups backed by the AFP were the perpetrators of 63 lumad killings  under the Aquino administration and 24 paramilitary groups have been reportedly armed and funded by different military battalions in Mindanao.

Fanagel also commends and agrees with the UN on the resumption of peace-talks between the government and the left-leaning rebels, as this would tackle and solve issues faced by the lumad, indigenous people and whole of the country’s socio-economic problems.

“It will be shameful for Aquino to disregard this call, especially now that even the United Nations has joined to pressure the government to act. This also has proven the calls of lumad who held a month-long protest in Metro Manila are justified,” Fanagel said.

Photo: V-150 armored personnel carrier/soldiers deployed to the poblacion of La Castellana

Posted to the Visayan Daily Star (Dec 12): Photo:  V-150 armored personnel carrier/soldiers deployed to the poblacion of La Castellana


A V-150 armored personnel carrier and Army soldiers were deployed in the poblacion of La Castellana, following the abduction of an RPA-ABB member and the raid of a cock farm perpetrated by the NPA.* ( Ricky Filoteo photo)

Rebel dies in Masbate clash with Army soldiers

From the Philippine News Agency (Dec 12): Rebel dies in Masbate clash with Army soldiers

A New People’s Army rebel died in an encounter with Philippine Army soldiers at Barangay Danao, San Jacinto, Masbate at about 11:20 a.m. Thursday, a police report said Saturday.

The report identified the victim as Albert S. Barsaga, 32 and a resident of Barangay Togoron, Monreal, Masbate.

Elements of Charlie Company, 9th Infantry Battalion of the 9th Infantry Division based at Barangay Calipat-an, San Jacinto received information that about 20 heavily armed men believed to be NPA members were sighted at Barangay Danao, San Jacinto.

Acting on the report, the government troopers proceeded to the place but upon reaching it, they were fired upon by the armed men.

This resulted in a firefight that lasted for about 30 minutes.

No casualty was reported on the government side.

The soldiers recovered two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) colored orange; PVC pipes (container) with a size of 19 inches long and 6 ¼ inches wide and 8 inches long and 6 ½ wide, respectively; four aluminum tubes believed to be electronic blasting caps, 4 inches long each; two rolls of brown electric wire, more or less 400 meters long;

Assorted medicines; one pair of hand guard of M16 rifle; one magazine for M14; one charging handle of M1; one bolt assembly for M16 rifle, one aluminum canteen cap; nine fired shells for AK47; 20 live ammunition for caliber 5.56; 29 linked ammunition for 60 caliber; one live ammunition of M203; one camouflage back pack with female personal belongings and other subversive documents.

A post-mortem examination conducted by Dr. Ronald E. Ferreras on Barsaga’s cadaver at about 9:30 a.m. Friday found one gunshot wound on his left chest that caused his immediate death.

Dealing with the Past: TJRC submits report to GPH, MILF peace panels

From MindaNews (Dec 12): Dealing with the Past: TJRC submits report to GPH, MILF peace panels

The five-member Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) has handed over to the government (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels its report on dealing with the past in the Bangsamoro and ensuring accountability, serving justice, and achieving reconciliation.

Under the Annex on Normalization, the GPH and MILF peace panels mandated the TJRC to undertake a study and to propose appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro People; correct historical injustices; address human rights violation; and address marginalization through land dispossession.

The TJRC was given a year from its formal launch to submit its final report which, according to a December 11 press release from the TJRC, was submitted to the GPH and MILF peace panels on December 9.

TJRC submits final report to the government peace panel in Pasig City. Photo courtesy of TJRC

TJRC chair Mo Bleeker, accompanied by TJRC members, submits final report to the government through peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer in Pasig City on December 9, in the presence of Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.  Photo courtesy of TJRC

The panels are to jointly determine when the report will be made public.

GPH peace panel chair Miriam Coronel-Ferrer told MindaNews on Saturday that they have yet to agree on the date. “No agreement yet between panels. Just got it.” MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal said, “after the GPH agrees.”

Launched on October 4, 2014, the TJRC is chaired by Mô Bleeker, Special Envoy of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) and Head of the “Task Force for Dealing with the Past and the Prevention of Atrocities”.

Its members are Atty. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary (GPH Designate to the TJRC), Atty. Ishak Mastura (MILF Designate to the TJRC), Atty. Adbdul Rashid Kalim (Alternate MILF designate to the TJRC) and Mr. Jonathan Sisson (Senior Adviser to the TJRC), the TJRC was launched on October 4, 2014.

It handed over its report to GPH peace panel chair Ferrer in the presence of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles in Pasig City and to MILF peace panel chair Iqbal in Cotabato City.

Transitional Justice
Transitional justice is part of the Annex on Normalization of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on March 27, 2014.

The UN Secretary General in its 2004 report defines ‘transitional justice’ as the “full range of processes and mechanisms associated with a society’s attempt to come to terms with a legacy of large-scale abuses committed in the past” , in order to achieve accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation.”

The UN report also describes the mechanisms of transitional justice in more specific terms; it employs “both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, including individual prosecutions, reparations, truth-seeking, institutional reform, vetting and dismissals, or a combination thereof.”

Transitional Justice ensures the need to deal with the past in order to build the future, to address historical injustices in order to make new history.

In the words of eminent Mindanao historian Rudy Rodil, immediately after the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in October 2012, the FAB is “an agreement acknowledging history but not living in history.”

 “History is history. It had its pains. We must rise above it. We now live a new life. We can now design a new future. As one,” Rodil wrote.

Dealing with the Past

In pursuit of its mandate, the TJRC conducted in-depth consultation processes to develop recommendations, to promote healing and reconciliation among the communities in the Bangsamoro through the Listening Process; Study Groups; Key Policy Informant Interviews; and Dealing with the Past Assessment.

According to its December 11 press release, the “Listening Process” was conducted in at least 200 communities in the conflict-affected areas while four Study Groups compiled and synthesized existing studies, reports and recommendations affecting the key issues of the TJRC mandate.

It added that the “Dealing with the Past Assessment” allowed an in-depth understanding of prior and existing ‘dealing with the past’ initiatives in the Philippines; while key policy interviews “allowed validation of the findings and the recommendations with experts and public servants.”

The press release said the TJRC recommendations “are meant to be meaningful, realistic and feasible in a short, mid and long term.”

The TJRC report aims to provide recommendations and suggest ways to ensure accountability, serve justice, and achieve reconciliation in the areas affected by the armed conflict.

It also aims to address the root causes of the conflict so that the communities can be assured that there will be no repetition of past abuses and violations.

“From brokenness to wholeness”

For the party that negotiated peace with the Philippine government on behalf of the Bangsamoro people, the launching on October 4, 2014 of the TJRC was, according to MILF peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal, the beginning of “a journey from brokenness to wholeness, from oppression to liberation.”

TJRC submits final report to MILF peace panel in Cotabato City. Photo courtesy of TJRC.

TJRC chair Mo Bleeker, accompanied by TJRC members,  submits final report to MILF through peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal in Cotabato City on December 9. Photo courtesy of TJRC.

“That the history of the Bangsamoro People is a history of human right violations cannot be denied. We, the Bangsamoro People suffered and suffered a lot. We lost many of our brothers and sisters. We lost our lands. We lost our freedom to practice our way of life. Injustice does that to a people. It robs everyone dignity, power and a sense of being fully human,” Iqbal said at the launch.

Injustice, he said, “breaks a people and continuing injustice breaks a people permanently until one day it finds that it cannot stand up anymore on its own, that all hope, all dignity and all confidence are lost. We cannot stand idly and let this happen to the Bangsamoro People. This is the reason why we fought back. We fought back to regain our dignity, our freedom, our humanity. War became a consequence of our defense of our right to be fully human.”

“Today is about making whole what has been broken, about giving back to the Bangsamoro People their dignity and freedom after years of repression and injustice. This is (what) transitional justice is all about – the process of putting back what has been broken, making clean what has been soiled, connecting what has been torn apart,” he said.

For the Bangsamoro, Iqbal said, Transitional Justice “is not about revenge or getting even. It is about reconciliation and a firm resolve not to let these atrocities happen again to any people – Bangsamoro or not.”

Philippine Army undertakes ‘demilitarization’ of non-standard firearms

From the Manila Bulletin (Dec 12): Philippine Army undertakes ‘demilitarization’ of non-standard firearms

Military and police personnel undertake “demilitarization”, a process whereby non-standard firearms that were captured, confiscated, surrendered and recovered during operations are destroyed by cutting to pieces and, ultimately, burning, Friday, December 11, inside the 4th Infantry Division, at Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City. (Photo courtesy of Camcer Ordonez Imam)
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The military has destroyed on Friday at least 186 firearms that were confiscated, surrendered and recovered during their operations through what it described as “demilitarization” inside the 4th Infantry Division (4ID) of the Philippine Army, at Camp Evangelista, Cagayan de Oro City.

Capt. Joe Patrick Martinez, spokesman of the 4ID, explained “demilitarization” to mean destroying the non-standard firearms in their stock by properly disposing them.
Martinez said this is being done to prevent the firearms from getting into the hands of bad elements of the society.

The firearms are mostly captured from the New People’s Army (NPA).

“Demilitarization of these firearms is also to show to the public that the military is neither using the firearms for its enlisted personnel nor to arm private individuals or groups,” said Martinez.

The 186 firearms are composed of two 9mm UZI SMGs, 51 12-gauge shotguns, seven Cal .30 Bolt action rifles, two 5.56 mm Bolt action rifles,  six Cal .22 Bolt action rifles, 54 Cal .38 revolvers, one 9mm Ingram SMG, 22 Cal .357 revolvers, four 5.56mm SW revolvers, one Cal .22 Thompson SMG, eight Cal. 22 revolvers, two 9mm pistols, five 9mm MK9 SMGs, 16 Cal .45 pistols, one Cal .30 pistol, two 40mm M79 GLs, one 9mm UZI, and one Cal .45 UZI.

According to Martinez, the military cannot use these firearms for the soldiers, because the AFP must have a uniform type of firearms that is not sub-standard for its soldiers’ use.

No extradition order yet for captors of Malaysian hostages

From the Philippine Star (Dec 12): No extradition order yet for captors of Malaysian hostages

The military said they have not been received any order to extradite captured bandits linked to the kidnapping of two Malaysians.

Maj. Felimon Tan Jr., spokesman of the Western Mindanao Command, said the extradition order of Saddam Jailani and Khadaffy Kamsa, both members of the Abu Sayyaf group should course through the higher headquarters.

However, Tan said they were cooperating and sharing information with the Malaysian authorities on kidnapping cases of Malaysian victims.

“So far there is no notification from the concern agency about the extradition,” Tan said.

Tan believed the request will be through the Department of Foreign Affairs.

Malaysian police authorities in a statement quoted by a Malaysian-based press said it has already submitted application to the Philippine government for the extradition of the two arrested Abu Sayyaf members.

Jailani and Kamsa, separately captured last month in Sulu, were tagged in the kidnapping of two Malaysians, engineer Bernard Then Ted Fen and restaurant manager Thein Nyuk Fun in Sabah, Malaysia in May. Both were brought to Sulu as captives.

Fun was released on November 8 following alleged payment of huge ransom while Fen was beheaded a week later.