After Sabah side trip, LP bet, 31 others back in Tawi-Tawi


MANILA, Philippines—Liberal Party (LP) mayoralty candidate Rommel Matba and his 31 companions were back in Tawi-Tawi on Thursday night, two days after they were detained by Malaysian authorities because their motorboat drifted to Lahad Datu in Sabah, officials said on Friday.

Malaysian authorities released Matba’s group after Philippine foreign affairs officials vouched for their claim they were bound for the Turtle Islands to campaign but were swept by strong waves to Sabah, officials said.

“They were escorted (by Malaysian border police) up to the boundary of Sandakan and Taganak Island,” acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said by phone. “They’re now back in Tawi-Tawi.”

Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, head of the LP, also confirmed that Matba’s group was released from Malaysian custody and  ad journeyed back to Tawi-Tawi on Thursday.

“They were treated well,” Hataman said.


Mistaken identity

The LP group’s motorboat was intercepted by Malaysian border police near Taganak Island in Tawi-Tawi last Tuesday. The group was taken to a police station in Sandakan on suspicion they were reinforcements for the forces of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, who are renewing the Sultanate’s claim to Sabah and have clashed with Malaysian police forces.

Malaysian authorities also returned all the seized items from Matba’s group, including guns and machetes, he added.

“Matba’s group left Sandakan on board ML Shernalyn for Taganak Island, Tawi-Tawi at about 6:50 p.m., escorted by Malaysian marine police and Navy boats,” he said, quoting the Philippine National Police.

Tawi-Tawi Governor Sadikul Sahali told the Inquirer that unlike past cases of arrests of illegal entrants in the border area, it was not possible to settle through “pakiusapan” or informal negotiations.

“In the past, it was easy for us to intercede for the release of arrested Filipinos in Sabah,” Sahali said. But this time he was told he would have to pass through diplomatic channels.

Stricter on security

Malaysian authorities were stricter on security this time, unlike in the past when they somehow tolerated Filipinos intruding into Malaysian waters near Turtle Island, Vice Governor Ruby Sahali added.

Turtle Island lies on the border between Malaysia and the Philippines.

The interception of Matba’s group came amid claims by the Sulu sultanate that some 400 “volunteer fighters” had landed in Sabah to reinforce the group of Agbimuddin Kiram, a younger brother of the self-proclaimed sultan who is said to be leading the fighting in Sabah.

The alleged incursion by Agbimuddin and nearly 200 members of the sultanate’s “royal army” into Lahad Datu town in mid-February erupted in violence on March 1, and prompted air and ground assaults from Malaysian forces, leaving more than 70 people dead.

A subsequent Malaysian crackdown on Agbimuddin’s followers has sent thousands of undocumented Filipinos in Sabah back to Mindanao.

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  • Albert Einstien

    MALAYSIA’S gas & oil reserve including their robbing of BRUNEI’s sarawak & RP’s SABAH… as of 1/1/11

    GAS 89.9 TRILLION cubic feet & OIL 5.9 bBillion barrels

    Production per day 974 kboe /day & 657.2 kboe/day


    BRUNEI’s $ARAWAK Oil ( 26% ) 1.5 Billion Barrels & Brunei’s $arawak
    ga$ ( 42.9 % ) 38.5761 trillion cubic feet

    MALAYSIA oil ( 40% ) 2.4 billion barrels & MALAYSIA gas ( 35.1% ) 31.5549 trillion cubic feet

    RP’s $ABAH OIL ( 34 % ) 2.0 Billion barrels ( expanding) & RP’s
    SABAH GA$ ( 12% expanding) 10.7880 trillion cubic feet

    As you can see MALAYSIA’s wealth is COMING from BRUNEI & RP….. that is why we
    have REBELS in SOUTH…that is why RP will not PROSPER…SABAH is CASH COW….RP’s SABAH OIL will be DEPLETED in less than 20 years time..SHOULD we WAIT UNTIL they FULLY DEPLETED our SABAH territory of RESOURCES ? HOW much MONEY from SABAH resources MALAYSIA is giving to our POLITICIANS in EXCHANGE for their PATRIOTISM & NOT to CLAIM SABAH ?

    ‘PNoy received money from Malaysia’… ABS-CBN news 03/06/2013

    Citing his own sources, David claimed the President received money from Malaysia, which is the reason behind his stand on the Sultanate of Sulu’s claim over Sabah.

    “He never wanted [to pursue the claim] in the first place… It is not possible for them
    to take such positions and speak against their own people if they are not on
    the take,” he said.

    When asked what he would do if he is slapped with libel cases due to his accusations against Aquino, David said: “I would welcome it provided I will be given a day in

    of RP should make an honest to goodness INQUIRY of BRIBERY issues pertaining to SABAH & MALAYSIA’s EFFORT to bring DOWN our government by instigating & supporting REBELLION in the SOUTH for decades now….be PATRIOTIC my PEOPLE….save our resources….save our POSTERITY …save our FUTURE…!

    • antinutcase

      You forgot to mention that we also have been stealing ice from the eskimos to fulfill our greed for slushies. Our next big plan is to steal all the turbans in Afghanistan so that each Malaysian gets to wear a turban while sipping our cool slushies when we steal the oil and gas from Brunei. Sinister plan, no ? , muahahahaha….

      • headhunter


    • headhunter

      My friend Albert the Intestine – shout your slogans & hope your people hear you…Your lost politicians had enjoyed their short stay in our jail…welkam to our kontri, we have many jabs waiting for you. Mindadao too por, cannot give you jab as kamforrrrt room klenarrrrr

    • Pinoy Bodoh

      Kabooommmmm…the sound of F-18 bombs falling on Albert the retard and his maid mother and maid sister…kaboooommmmm…the sound of Sukhoi-30 Missles and bombs carpet bombing Albert the retard son of a maid’s slum province…splashhhhhh kaboommmmm..the sound of the Malaysian submarines torpedoing Albert the retard son of a maid’s slum na…oh hang on..they don’t have a navy…bwahahahahaahahaaaa

      • Cabal

        They do have little tiny boats that they proudly call as warship.

    • Pinoy Bodoh

      Don’t worry…you future’s secure as long as there is demand for maids and hookers… Bwahahahahahahahaaaaa

      • Cabal

        and bananas too.

    • Trueblue

      Loser cry wolf. This is exactly what you are. The only way for kiram to take sabah is to do the impossible which is driving the malaysia army which is increasing by number and resources everyday out of sabah. Unless the kiram idiots can fly F18, drive the tanks and pilot the submarine then they can deep dreaming of having sabah as well as its whealth until the sun rises from the west and set in the east.

      • Cabal

        They can only scream banzai and throw stones if malaysia decided to block all the financial and arms support given to them by the OIC.

  • shah

    The Kirams must be told that , should any of their so called warriors get caught while going for a picnic into malaysian waters to use the same reason.

    This time they are on their way to Tortoise Island to campaign (the last time was turtle Island).
    Or if its 400 or more as claimed, that they are on they way to the Brunei’s Sultan wedding reception..
    They might get lucky the second time..

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