100K Pinoys expected to flee Sabah


Filipino Muslim residents displaced by the ongoing conflict in Sabah, Malaysia arrive Sunday at the port of Bonggao in the province of Tawi-Tawi. JEOFFREY MAITEM/INQUIRER

ZAMBOANGA CITY—An estimated 100,000 Filipinos in Sabah are expected to flee to the Philippines by May, according to a government “worse case scenario” following an incursion by supporters of the sultan of Sulu in February and a subsequent crackdown by Malaysian forces in the area.

The figure was based on the number of documented and undocumented Filipinos in Sabah, according to the Crisis Management Committee (CMC) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD-ARMM).

In March, 5,000 arrivals were recorded in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi from Sabah. The number does not include those who did not register with the DSWD because they still want to return to Sabah and live there when things settle down, according to a CMC member who asked not to be named for lack of authority to speak to the media.

The source said there were 57,000 documented Filipino residents in Sabah with 95,000 dependents, and another  550,000 were undocumented.

“We may expect 100,000 to arrive by May, especially if Malaysia grants our government’s request to give amnesty to the undocumented residents in Sabah,” the source said.

Evacuees are expected from Lahad Datu, Semporna, Sandakan, Labuan, Tawau, and even in Sabah’s capital Kota Kinabalu, where there are about a thousand undocumented Filipino workers who have expressed their desire to return to Mindanao.

Emergency response

According to the DSWD-ARMM website, of the expected returnees, 46,000 are natives of Sulu, 41,000 are from Tawi-Tawi, 7,000 from Basilan, 3,000 from Zamboanga City, and 3,000 from other provinces and regions throughout the country.

The CMC said it had drawn up an emergency response plan and a recovery and rehabilitation program for the returnees.

“These include assistance for food, transportation, temporary shelter, and other recovery and rehabilitation assistance such as livelihood, counseling and the like,” the CMC said.


More than 30 Navy ships deployed

Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, the visiting chief of staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, said in Zamboanga yesterday that the naval blockade in the Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi areas would remain as part of the Philippines’ security precautions.

More than 30 Navy ships have been deployed in the area since members of the so-called “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo” arrived in Lahad Datu town in Sabah on Feb. 9 to renew the sultanate’s long dormant claim over a part of Borneo Island.

Bautista presided over a command conference at the Western Mindanao Command which discussed the possible influx of returnees from Sabah.


Security problem

“It could also be a security concern. For one, there could be armed people who might mix with the evacuees,” said Brig. Gen. Aurelio Baladad, the AFP deputy chief of staff for operations.

Baladad said aside from this, the military would also begin its preparations to assist in the humanitarian efforts of the government for the evacuees, such as transporting goods and people.


Asked about the possibility of the sultanate’s supporters taking up their fight for Sabah in Mindanao, Baladad said this was “one concern we are looking into.”

“We have been hearing about these concerns that is why the military has initiated dialogues with people in the communities. The soldiers in the field are conducting the dialogues where they impart the message that the government is doing everything it could to resolve this issue,” Baladad said.

Also on Tuesday, a Sabah-based radio station monitored in Davao City reported that eight more people—seven Filipinos and a Malaysian police corporal—had been charged under Malaysia’s security law in connection with the incursion in February.

Eight Filipinos were earlier charged in the Tawau high court. At least 122 people have been arrested and more than 60 people killed in the aftermath of the Malaysian crackdown in Sabah. With a report from Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao

Originally posted: 8:47 pm | Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

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  • joboni96

    pinakamagandang dahilan
    para ipagpatuloy ang laban ng

    bangsamoro at

    to benefit from sabah with the sabahans and brunei

  • JustOne Sin

    I hope this conflict will be resolved soon and the two Governments can work out a mechanism to arrange the 100,000 or so to return and work in Sabah. People without options are dangerous out of desperation, and this environment is creating more and more of them.

    • Hans Hans

      wow after badmouth our government, now you want us to provide job opportunity for these Filipinos? why should we? maybe these 100,000 can storm Taguig City and smack Kiram in his face?

      • JustOne Sin

        Instability in the area benefits no one and will easily spread. Where and when did I ever bad mouth our government? My issue is with the Kirams and the unlawful occupation of Sabah by his cahoots. Some Filipinos may disagree with the term unlawful, but for me it’s obvious enough in relation to international law.

    • John John

      Filipinos with Malaysian citizenship,PR status and the legally-documented ones are staying put in Sabah as there never been any sort of crackdown on Filipinos in general,only on the undocumented ones. This is fairly routine,as any illegal immigrants will be,by law,deported back to their countries. Even the returning ones do not comprise of the majority,only 5,000 by latest count out of a reported 800,000.That’s even less than 1%.

      I do not know what is the reason or motive for the ones returning to the Philippines making claims that they have been grossly abused. I have personal contacts with relatives & friends living in Sabah,even ones living in the Lahad Datu district and they have confirmed no such horror tales are true. Does anyone here have first-hand accounts of these abuses on Filipinos beyond what they read in the Media?

      I have reliable reports of schools reopening, business resuming & life is generally back to normal for all the residents there,Malaysian and Filipinos.No mass arrests are happening,no trucks full of thousands of Filipinos are heading for exit ports and certainly no piles of Filipino corpses in execution grounds summarily executed by the Police. All Filipinos returning are leaving out of their own free will,due to fears they may be a target for reprisals or are afraid of being caught in crossfires.

      I have sources on the ground that confirms this,I do not rely solely on news articles. I suggest more people do the same.

      • JustOne Sin

        Very much agree with your statements. My view is based on the assumption that the massive deportation would crystalize and this involves a significant portion of illegal Filipinos who worked and coexist peacefully with Malaysians in Sabah.

        With no available work to earn their living, they could easily resort to crime and piracy. This clearly won’t benefit the population on both sides.

  • Albert Einstien

    Just LOOK at google earth world map…MALAYSIA just land grab……it’s
    NO BRAINER ..they have to travel & PASS THREE countries like
    singapore , indonesia, brunei & cross the South China Sea before
    EVEN REACHING & CLAIM their FRAUD that SABAH belongs to’s
    JUST CRAZY..while SABAH is contiguous part of RP.

    CLOSE MALAYSIAN embassy now
    & CLAIM SABAH…they coddled,armed , funded & trained REBELS
    ..that is why FILIPINOS are KILLING filipinos in the SOUTH…they are
    enemy of the STATE.. and people of this country….

    NEWS Manila bulletin 3/5/2013

    Hadji Acmad Bayam, former chief propagandist of the MNLF, revealed
    this yesterday to the Manila Bulletin, adding that these MNLF forces may
    have at their disposal a
    huge arsenal, which they hid deep in Sabah’s rugged terrain when they returned
    to the Philippines after their rigid training.

    Among the firearms are Belgian-made G1 and FAL, which the late Libya leader Colonel Moammar Khadafy supplied through Malaysia.

    Bayam said he was confident the Malaysian authorities were not able to find the
    hidden MNLF firearms because they were kept very well by the MNLF commanders
    who stayed behind in Sabah.

    During that training, Malaysian military trainors even joked about the firearms at the
    MNLF training camp on Jampiras Island, off Sabah, as they turned over Khadafy’s
    weapons’ supply.

    “We are not even sure if the firearms we are giving you will not be turned against,”
    the Malaysian trainors had said in a jest.

    “Well, speaking of self-fulfilling prophecy,” Bayam said, recalling the jokes of the
    Malaysian trainors…


    • aed

      Wag naman gnun kabayan., mccra tau sa international community hihina pa claim naten

  • Natx Bacalzo

    these are non combatants so their return serves a higher purpose.

  • Puting Puloy

    these filipino muslims deserve to be back in the Philippines–no ifs no buts–with or without the Sabah issue- because they are Filipinos.

    Welcome back mga kabayan.
    As for the fight of the Sultanate, majority of the Filipinos are with you. Ituloy natin ang laban sa lehitimong pamamaraan. Tama nalang na nagdulog na ang ibang cause oriented groups sa United Nations. Dahil ang gobyerno ni Aquino ay di kampi sa atin. Kampi ito sa Malaysia. Si Aquino ata ay autistic–di flexible ang desisyon–alinsunod din naman sa gawi ng mga magulang nya– ang tatay nya ang pumiyok sa Oplan Merdeka. ang nanay nya ang nagpasimunong makipagbati sa Malaysia.

    Hayaan nyo na ang mga makikitid ang isip nating mga kababayan na di nagiisip na ang pagiging Pilipino ay di lamang sa gawa kundi sa pananalita din. Sa bawat isang katagang nakakasira sa kapwa niyo Pilipino, tinatayo nyo ang bandera ng kalaban natin.

  • Vlad D. Impaler


    • JD

      right on bro!

  • JustOne Sin

    For those Filipinos who can’t let go of Sabah, your best bet is to elect Jamalul kiram III for president.

  • terrorist kirams

    pinoy monkey just know talking thrash
    if request by our friend, CHINA can drop missile to tawi-tawi or kirams home to clean the terrorist clan
    philippine is full of thrash talking monkey poor monkey they have no brain

  • misuari playboy

    It is sickening for the Philippines to be 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 by peaceful UN referendum.

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