Philippines concerned at death of nationals in Malaysia

Philippines concerned at death of nationals in Malaysia
# 23 March 2015 19:51 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The Philippines Embassy in Malaysia said Monday that it is "deeply concerned" over the reported deaths of three undocumented Filipino teenagers during an immigration raid by Malaysian authorities in Lahad Datu, Sabah, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

Sabah shares a sea border with the Philippines' southernmost province of Tawi-Tawi, from which hundreds of undocumented Filipinos enter Malaysia's easternmost state every year in search of a better life.

The alleged fatalities were identified as Nordin Akang, 16; Lahudin Nasir, 17; and Alex Nasir, 18. They died March 21 during an operation conducted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) against undocumented individuals at Lahad Datu public market.

ESSCOM was created March 2013 to prevent armed incursions following a month-long assault on Kampung Tanduo, by militants from the South Philippines.

The assault by the men -- who were attempting to assert an unresolved territorial claim by the Philippinesto eastern Sabah -- resulted in a death toll of 56 intruders, nine Malaysian security personnel and six civilians.

The Philippines Embassy said in the statement Monday that it was "deeply concerned about... the deaths of the three Filipinos, two of whom are minors."

It called for "humane treatment of undocumented individuals, including the manner by which operations are conducted."

Malaysia is home to thousands of Filipinos. Many of them are undocumented and reside in Sabah, a resource-rich territory also claimed by the Philippines.

Most of those hail from the Muslim provinces of Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and other poor areas of north and central Philippines plagued by armed conflict between Muslim rebels and government troops.

The embassy dispatched Sunday a three-man team to Lahad Datu to look into the deaths of the men.

They met the brothers of the three victims and conferred with police authorities Monday morning.

The team has asked for a full, impartial investigation, and to be with furnished a copy of any police report, the embassy said.