NAGA CITY (BicolToday.com/02-Apri-2013) – The President is urged by cause-oriented groups to step forward to rescue Filipinos who are dislocated in the Sabah conflict, and to protect them from the backlash unleashed by the Malaysian security forces amid reports that Malaysia will relocate Filipinos in Vietnam-style “hamletting” operations, online news BicolToday.com was informed yesterday.
Malaysia’s announcement to relocate Malaysian villagers in order to differentiate them from Filipinos is alarming because this might lead to human rights violations against Filipinos who have been living in Sabah for years now. This was expressed by Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares upon learning of the news.
Malaysian Maj. Gen. Zulkiflee Mazlan was reported having issued the statement after the deaths of two more children and the wounding of another boy by Malaysian security forces.
“This reminds us of the hamletting done during the Martial Law days where people were forced to leave their homes and livelihood — their communities eventually becoming war zones,” Representative Colmenares told BicolToday.com.
The Philippine government must be alarmed of the plan of the Malaysian Government to hamlet villagers in Sabah to isolate the Filipinos for them (Malaysians) to be able to arrest ‘intruders’ referring particulary to members of the (Sultan of Sulu) Royal Army.
Sabah is home to more than 3 million people, about 800,000 of whom are Filipinos who went to Malaysia to look for jobs.
Some areas in Sabah have become “war zones” as Malaysian security forces were locked in protracted battle against Filipino soldiers of the Sultanate of Sulu royal security forces.
The Kiram Family of the Sultanate of Sulu who have been trying to claim control over Sabah by historical rights are basing themselves in Taguig City, Metro Manila, which actions have been giving President Noynoy serious diplomatic problems with Malaysia.
“Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have been living and working in Sabah are in danger. The President must do something to protect the Filipinos in Sabah. Human Rights groups should also be allowed in to document human rights violations,” said Rep. Colmenares.
“The Malaysian Government forces have been committing human rights violations not only to our fellow Filipinos, but also to their own citizens. Our fellow Filipinos, who evacuated from Sabah because of the increasing tension there, have either experienced or witnessed such human rights violations and because of Malaysia’s continuing campaign against the Royal Army, they are bound to commit graver abuses against Filipinos,” said Rep. Colmenares.
“There have been eight Filipinos charged with terrorism-related offenses punishable by death sentence. What is PNoy waiting for? Our fellow Filipinos have to be protected from the madness of the Malaysian government,” Colmenares said.
“This is really alarming. Pres. Noynoy must act as a President to the Filipino citizens, here and abroad. He is accountable to everyone of us especially to our fellow citizens who have been living and working abroad because of the lack of employment opportunities in their own country, ” he stressed. [BicolToday.com]