PH lawyers, civil society groups seek UN intervention on Sabah crisis

A+
A
A-

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine lawyers and other members of civil society groups have sought the intervention of the United Nations over alleged human rights violations in Sabah.

“We respectfully submit that you consider this urgent appeal in relation to the massive and gross human rights violations committed against Filipino refugees in Sabah by Malaysian state agents,” the letters to Mr. Antonio Guterre, UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Ms. Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights both dated March 21 stated.

Signatories to the letter include lawyer Harry Roque, Sister Mary John Mananzan of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines, whistleblower Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada, Sulu Sultanate adviser Pastor Boy Saycon and members of the Concerned Citizens Movement.

Over a thousand refugees already arrived in Tawi-Tawi from Sabah since Malaysian security forces moved in to flush out members of the so-called ‘‘Royal Security Forces’’ of the Sulu sultanate who had intruded into Sabah last month in a bid to live in the land they claim as historically theirs.

The Regional Human Rights Commission of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (RHRC-ARMM) said Filipinos, particularly the Tausugs or Suluks as they are known in Sabah, had been shot, arrested and tortured even if they are not part of the Royal Security Forces.

In their letter, the signatories cited accounts of evacuees about the violations committed by Malaysian authorities. Sherilyn Viado, 20, working at a construction company, said she had to assert her ethnicity when Malaysian police ganged up on her.

“I told them I am not a Tausug but a Badjao,” she said adding that they took her earnings and allowed her to return to the Philippines.

On the other hand, Ibrahim Alih, 38, said he failed to present travel documents. Malaysian authorities told him to run but knowing they will shoot him if he did, he said he stayed but the police authorities beat him. He said they only stopped when he told him he was a Badjao and not a Tausug.

Viado said Malaysian security forces were singling out people from Sulu.

Among the violations allegedly committed by Malaysian authorities include;

  • Right against any discrimination
  • Right to life, liberty and security of person
  • Right not to be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment
  • Right against arbitrary arrest, detention or exile; and
  • Right to a fair trial.

Aside from intervening on the crisis in Sabah, they also urged the international body to “remind Malaysia that it provide effective remedies and compensation to the Filipino victims of the massive and gross human rights violations committed against them by Malaysian state agents.”

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • Vlad D. Impaler

    LIBERATE SABAH FROM MALAYSIAN GREED, TYRANNY, AND OPPRESSION!

    • every.thing

      let’s invade istana negara first. free it from the clutches of the devil monkey king!

      • Pinoy Bodoh

        Hahahaha…yeah please do so..oh hang on….you lot don’t even have fighter planes or navy ships!!! HAHAHAHAHAH…the Malaysian submarines will blow you lot to bits.

      • zdrx

        you have fighter planes…and you can’t beat a ragtag bunch of vagabonds. you have submarines…and you can’t stop a bunch of tired “terrorist” going home to tawi tawi for R&R. what more if it was 20,000 warriors you faced…sabah could have fallen in 1 hour. LOL

  • RegineMarfie

    Paki report lang yung Orion force na profile dito…

    Spam Bot ito nang aatak ng mga comments pa ulit ulit ang sina sabi… paki report yung profile niya sa moderator

    • misuari playboy

      The more you do not want the whole world to know, the more you slimey pilipin will be exposed. Tausogs and moros have suffered a lot for too long under your philippines colonialism.

  • misuari playboy

    Philippines is hiding the fact that mindanao and sulu are rich with minerals. The conniving philippines is siphoning hundreds of billion pesos from copper and nickels mining on these islands. Without shame, Philippines continues the leave the tausogs and moros in deep poverty. Philippines colonialism on the moros and tausugs must be
    stopped only by peaceful UN referendum.

    • zdrx

      without shame……you don’t even bother to hide your stupidity.

  • every.thing

    Orion: spammer

    • misuari playboy

      why are you hiding the truth from the moros and the tausugs? their lands are rich in minerals copper, nickel and gold. but why are they living in deep poverty?

  • misuari playboy

    why do moros and tausogs have to live in deep poverty when their lands are rich with gold, nickel and copper? it is because they are being colonised by the philippines!

  • RegineMarfie

    Paki report lang yung Orion force na profile dito…

    Spam Bot ito nang aatak ng mga comments pa ulit ulit ang sina sabi… paki report yung profile niya sa moderator

  • Diepor

    All this because of an former dancer that have made nothing out of his life.

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94