122 more deportees arrive in Tawi-Tawi from Malaysia
COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Another batch of deportees from Sabah, Malaysia arrived in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi on Tuesday night.
Laisa Alamia, executive secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, said the region’s Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (Heart) were on hand to welcome 122 individuals who arrived at the port of Bongao on Tuesday night.
“They are safe now and will be brought to their respective provinces and communities through ARMM agencies,” said Alamia, who also chairs the Heart.
The deportees, who arrived on a ship called Mid-East Express-2, included 97 adult males; 19 adult females; four boys and two girls.
“They brought with them deportation documents from the Malaysia authorities,” she told reporters.
A total of 6,149 ARMM residents have been deported from Sabah, a territory on the northern tip of Borneo, since the ARMM arranged with Malaysian government to facilitate their orderly deportation.
Malaysia cracked down on undocumented Filipinos in Sabah last year after a failed attempt by followers of the heirs of the Sulu Sultanate to reclaim Sabah on the basis of historical rights.
Malaysian authorities have started deporting undocumented Filipinos working there to rid the east Malaysian state of illegitimate settlers.
Alamia said more deportees were expected to come home in the coming months, and the ARMM was continuing its efforts to “save” the detained deportees pending completion of their deportation papers.
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