DFA wants confirmation of Filipino fishermen’s arrest in Sabah
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has asked Malaysian authorities to provide information about the reported arrest of Filipino fishermen in the waters near Sabah for alleged illegal fishing.
“Our embassy in Kuala Lumpur communicated through the Malaysian authorities our request for confirmation of the reported arrest of the Filipino fishermen last week in waters between Tawi-Tawi and Sandakan, Sabah,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose said in a press briefing Monday.
“Based on the initial information provided by the owner of the fishing vessel to the DFA regional consular office in Palawan, 17 Filipino fishermen on board fishing boat King and Queen 4 were apprehended by Malaysian authorities on July 9 for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing activities. They are said to be presently detained in Sandakan, Sabah” he said.
Jose said that the Malaysia authorities have yet to respond to their request.
The border between Malaysia and Philippines in the area has long been a porous route traversed by bandit groups as well as illegal immigrants.
Sandakan, Sabah is located just north of Lahad Datu where the 2013 Lahad Datu standoff between more than 200 armed loyalists of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian authorities took place.
Kiram’s troops invaded the village of Tanduo by boat from Sulu seeking to reclaim Sabah as part of the Sultanate of Sulu. Negotiations over months broke down and the Malaysian authorities routed Kiram’s troops.
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