8 Filipinos face death, life terms in Malaysia

Terrorism charges filed under KL laws

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 Malaysian policemen lead away a suspected intruder from Sulu in Lahad Datu on Wednesday. MALAYSIA’S THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Malaysia brought criminal charges against eight Filipinos on Wednesday, more than two weeks after a standoff in Sabah between Malaysian security forces and an armed group from the sultanate of Sulu erupted into violence that killed 72 people.

More than 100 others face similar charges.

It was not clear whether the eight were the first of the captured followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who, together with more than 200 others, slipped into Sabah on Feb. 9 and seized the coastal village of Tanduo in Lahad Datu town to stake their clan’s ancestral claim to the eastern Malaysian territory.

The eight men, whose ages ranged from 17 to 66, did not enter a plea, and no further hearing dates were immediately scheduled as the case was being transferred from a Sabah district court to a higher court, according to the state-run Bernama news agency.

Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the sultanate of Sulu, condemned the filing of terrorism charges against the eight Filipinos, saying Malaysian prosecutors have not fully disclosed the evidence used in the complaints against the suspect.

Idjirani said he feared the rights of the eight men were being violated and that there was a lack of transparency in the handling of their cases.

“In the first place, these Filipinos, if indeed they were involved, were just defending their rights because Sabah belongs to the sultanate and the Filipino people and Malaysia is just the administrator,” Idjirani said.

Idjirani urged the Malaysian authorities to release the suspects and called on the administration of President Aquino to provide them with legal assistance.

Earlier Malaysian Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail asked the Bar Council of Malaysia and the Sabah Law Association to provide legal representation for detained followers of the Sulu sultan.

Christopher Leong, vice president of the bar council, said Wednesday his group would talk to Abdul Gani about giving legal assistance to the detainees.

Police filed charges of launching terroristic acts under Section 130A of the Penal Code and waging war against Malaysian King Abdul Halim under Section 121 of the code against the eight men in a makeshift courtroom in Lahad Datu.

Section 130A provides for a jail term of up to 30 years, while Section 121 provides for the death penalty on conviction.

Twelve members of the armed group led by Jamalul’s brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, were killed and 10 others were captured when Malaysian police launched an assault on Tanduo on March 1, after a 17-day standoff.

The assault ended in a rout for Agbimuddin’s group, which led to the spread of violence to other parts of Lahad Datu, triggering evacuations of entire villages to avoid casualties among the civilian population.

Fifty other men from Agbimuddin’s group were killed in skirmishes with Malaysian police and military troops in three other villages in Lahad Datu where the sultanate’s followers spread out after the rout in Tanduo.

Eight Malaysian policemen and two soldiers were killed in fighting between the security forces and small units from Agbimuddin’s group.

Others facing charges

Malaysian police arrested 107 people in other villages in a crackdown on Jamalul’s supporters in Sabah.

Those arrested include suspected members of Agbimuddin’s group, uniformed personnel and villagers who might have directly or indirectly abetted the Sulu group.

Police said the 107 people were arrested in Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak, Sandakan and other parts of the state.

Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said on Wednesday the suspects were being investigated for various offenses, including possession of offensive weapons, suspicious personal documents and illegal entry.

Hamza said the suspects were arrested under the Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act of 2011 but would be charged under the Penal Code.

Fighting continues

Skirmishes between Malaysian troops and about 50 men from Agbimuddin’s group were reported in Tanjung Batu on Wednesday as the military cleared the area of the Sulu sultan’s followers.

There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

The fate of Agbimuddin remained uncertain Wednesday despite reports that he managed to slip out of Sabah after the March 1 rout of his group.

Malaysian military chief Zulkifeli Zin said on Friday that Agbimuddin had fled to southern Philippines and most likely hiding in Tawi-Tawi.

His family in Manila insists Agbimuddin is still in Sabah and that reports that he has abandoned the sultan’s followers there as propaganda of the Malaysian government.

Agbimuddin will be arrested if he returns to the Philippines. Thirty-eight members of his group who slipped out of Sabah were intercepted by the Philippine Navy off Tawi-Tawi last week and were charged in court there.

“Our police and Navy are on the lookout for him,” Tawi-Tawi Gov. Sadikul Sahari was quoted as saying by The Star newspaper of Malaysia about reports that Agbimuddin was in hiding in the south.

The Malaysian and Philippine governments had sought for weeks to end the occupation of Tanduo peacefully by urging Agbimuddin’s group to leave without facing charges.

But the killing of two Malaysian policemen by Agbimuddin’s men on March 1 sparked the police assault that dislodged them from Tanduo.

The recovery of the beheaded bodies of two other Malaysian policemen in Semporna on March 2 drew air strikes and artillery attacks from the military.

Clearing operations

The operations continued Wednesday, with armored personnel carriers (APCs) entering Tanjung Batu to clear the village of Agbimuddin’s men.

Hamza explained that APCs had better mobility compared with military tanks and could have better access to rugged areas within the zone of security operations.

“We are better equipped now and we expect to complete clearing the Tanjung Batu area in the next 24 hours,” Hamza said.—Reports from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao; AP and The Star/Asia News Network

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  • rinom

    they want to die for the gift that was given 300 years ago,,,

  • Lolo_Basyong

    Despite all the propaganda by Malaysia, the truth remains: they are holding on to a land that is not theirs. In civilized society, that is called a thief. Hehehehehehehe…. That’s the reason why they are doing everything to hold on to Sabah which brings them up to 70 billion dollars a year (while paying a paltry rent of less than 7,000 pesos a month to the Sultanate of Sulu). And yet despite the overwhelming force employed, and the thousands of troops mobilized, they haven’t beaten the handful of Royal Army fighters until now. Hahahahaha… Makes me wonder what will happen if they finally face the whole Royal force backed by the veteran warriors of the MNLF?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2LTXBWMOSF22PZPAM26K6B7OZE Adzhar

      Those palm trees need good fertilisers!

  • Naldm05

    You cant put a good man down. Im sorry my malaysian brothers but Filipinos are here to retake Sabah by hook or by crook. Whether you like it or not. ;D

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/2LTXBWMOSF22PZPAM26K6B7OZE Adzhar

      Come and get it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/sang.garudada Sang Garudada

      yeah…come and get it yo

      • Naldm05

        Hey sang garudada cme and get my big azz! Haha! Lick ur king’s azz too! LOLZ!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    malaysian is a master land grabber!!

  • Pio Pusli

    katayin na, para hindi kumalat ang katangahan.

  • CommonSens6

    8 MEN CAUGHT MALAYSIANS?

    Philstar, 23Mar2013

    ***************

    MANILA, Philippines – The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Friday confirmed reports that the eight men now
    facing charges of terrorism and waging war against the king in Lahad
    Datu are not members of its Royal Security Force (RSF) but are Malaysian
    nationals.

    “A relative of the wife of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram who lives in
    Sabah has confirmed to us that these men are not members of the Royal
    Security Forces,” said Abraham Idjirani, spokesman of the Sultanate.

    “What does the Malaysian government intend to do? They are lying
    through their teeth. They are fooling the Philippine government and the
    entire world,” Idjirani added.

    Idjirani said that one of the eight arrested
    men, identified as Hooland Kalbi by the Malaysian news agency Bernama,
    was actually one of the 10 members of the Sultanate’s army who were
    killed in battle with security forces on March 1.

    Kalbi was quoted by Bernama as saying that he was paid by Sultan Kiram to join the expedition in Sabah.

    “Hooland Kalbi is dead, that we are sure about,” Idjirani said.
    .
    .
    .

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/UYR4QMTX7MO3F6I6E25HGUZV3E Khairil Anuar

      As I predicted, Idjirani disavowing their men & accusing Malaysia of “Black propaganda”.

      I’m disappointed by idjirani, conveniently only now saying the man was already dead weeks ago shows his lack of tact,as the dead cannot say anything to disprove of this fact.what’s next? the other seven accused have incidentally also died on 1st march?

      Be more creative idjirani! you used to have a fertile imagination!

    • misuari playboy

      ha ha ha i love these jokes

  • http://www.yahoo.com/ Jose Paman

    Idjirani words are unbelievable…..

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza

    disiplinado sa malaysia takot tao sa batas nila sa pilipinas baby ang criminal kaya maraming mamatay tao wala death peanalty!

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