Gov’t girds for possible humanitarian crisis in South



The Aquino administration has started preparations to prevent a possible humanitarian crisis that may arise from the crackdown of the Malaysian government on the supporters of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Sabah.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Tuesday led an interagency meeting in Camp Crame convened on orders of President Aquino to map out the government’s plan to address the possible problems that may arise from the return of illegal Filipino immigrants from Sabah.

“The President wants the heads of government agencies to ensure that there will be sufficient supply of food and government support to our countrymen in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,” Roxas told reporters later.

“The President ordered us to ensure the safety of Filipinos living in those areas and that the government is ready in case there will be an influx of evacuees,” he added.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said some 1,500 undocumented Filipinos in Sabah had arrived in the coastal towns of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi since Friday.

Asked if the exodus had resulted in a humanitarian crisis in Mindanao, Roxas said: “There is none, for now at least.”

Soliman said the government was expecting more Filipinos to leave Sabah as Malaysian forces continued to pursue the sultan’s followers.

She said most of the evacuees, numbering around 450, arrived at Siasi in Sulu, and at Bongao in Tawi-Tawi, from Lahad Datu and Sandakan on Friday.

“We are extending assistance to them by providing them meals. We helped them to return to their homes in Tawi-Tawi, Sulu and Zamboanga,” Soliman said.

Orlan Calayag, administator of the National Food Authority (NFA), said over 2,200 sacks of rice were delivered to some areas in Tawi-Tawi and Sulu for the arrivals in evacuation centers.

100,000 sacks of rice

Calayag said the NFA was preparing for the delivery of 100,000 sacks of rice to Basilan, Tawi-Tawi and Sulu from Southern Tagalog.

“We have enough stocks of rice (in that part of Mindanao). There is no reason for traders to hike the prices of other basic commodities there,” said Trade Undersecretary Zeny Maglaya.

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  • bongarroyo

    mga talangkang uto-uto chorus….
    bakit ngayon lang?
    di sapat iyan?
    kung sumunod lang sana si aquino sa gusto ng mga kiram di sana nangyayari ito..
    pasok mga ugok sisihin niyo pa ng sisihin ang gobyerno sa katarantaduhan ng mga kiram…LOL

    • Loggnat

       Why will the president entertain an adventurist action to cross an internationally accepted national boundary for an increase in the lease of Sabah to the Sultanate of Sulu? Kiram should have followed the Philippine government’s advise to return home after achieving their goal of local, international media, and the president’s attention to their cause. A peaceful negotiation for the increase of the Sabah lease could have been in process now if the bloodshed was averted if only the alleged armed group called the Royal Sultanate Security had returned back to the Philippines. Now, they can kiss their increase in the lease for Sabah goodbye.

      • Ahae Mina Shai

        Exactly. Just to correct you on a minor point, your President never entertain the adventurist action as you put it.

      • Loggnat

        I never said that he did, it is in a question form that implies that the president should never entertain/side with illegal adventurist action by an armed group royalty or not.

  • joshmale2004

    This aftermath of the Sabah terrorist siege would not have happened if only the Government allowed and complied all the demands and blackmailing of Kiram III. But sad to say, Philippine has a policy of non negotiation to terrorists. Philippines can not be hostaged or blackmailed by any lawless elements.

  • Rod

    Its funny. People born in Sabah, by international norm, and by political demarcation, are Malaysians. And since Malaysia calls them Filipinos, and since they are not in fact Filipinos, they are, in reality, people denied of nationality. Let’s call them Sabahan.

    And, yes, since Filipinos have a claim of Sabah, our position is that mga Sabahan have always been Filipinos. 800 thousands of them as reported.

    • Ahae Mina Shai

      Well, it maybe international norm, but under the laws of Malaysia, the children of illegal immigrants will not be considered Malaysian.

      It doesnt matter if the Sabah is under Philipines under the Filipinos position. The rest of the world on the other hand do not seem to agree with that stand and thus from their standpoint, the deportation is fair.

  • Rod

    Malaysians ‘deporting’ Sabahans, that’s funny. That’s another phrase for driving out natives from their native-land.

  • joshmale2004

    I am just  curious if SWS Dinky Soliman have already checked each of these 1,500 deportees  before declaring they are all Filipinos. This is very important to ensure no undocumented other nationalities are with the group who may have escaped Sabah due to criminal liabilities or are wanted foreigners by the Malaysian Government.

  • Rod

    And why has Sabah become a matter of “Filipinos”, “our” and “we” and no longer limited to the Kirams?

    It is because Sabahans are Suluans, and Suluans, [people and territory], comprise people of the Philippines.

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