MANILA, Philippines—Possible criminal charges are being readied against the Sultanate of Sulu and his followers who are still in Sabah, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said Thursday.
“They were given a chance to comeback peacefully. Kung bumalik sila agad, maaaring hindi na sila kinasuhan,” De Lima told reporters in a chance interview.
“Since ngayon na nagmamatigas sila in spite of the personal appeal of the President, then mahirap na sabihin na umuwi na kayo hindi naming kayo kakasuhan,” she said.
De Lima, together with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas formed a joint DOJ-DILG fact finding committee to determine the liability of the leaders and followers involved in the Sabah conflict.
Both the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group have been instructed to investigate possible violations of laws by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, his brother Prince Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram and their 180 followers in Lahad Datu, Sabah.
Aside from violation of Article 118 of the Revised Penal Code which penalizes inciting to war or giving motives for reprisals, other possible cases that may be filed against Kiram and his followers include illegal possession of firearms, illegal assembly and violation of the Comelec gun ban.