Why 9 Filipinos were spared death over Sabah attack
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Nine Filipinos, who were earlier sent to the death row in Sabah for the 2013 Lahad Datu attacks, were spared the gallows after a review of their case, the Malaysian state media said on Tuesday.
In a report posted on the Nam News Network, Bernama said the nine Filipinos were in their senior years and were among the more than 400 individuals charged in connection with the “invasion” carried out by followers of the Sulu sultanate from February 11 to March 24, 2013.
Dozens of people – including Sulu armed men and Malaysian security forces – were killed in the violence that also displaced people from various Lahad Datu areas.
They were earlier found guilty of waging war against the Malaysian king and had been sentenced to death under Malaysia’s penal code.
However, after reviewing their case, Judge Stephen Chung ruled that Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 45; Basad H. Manuel, 41; Ismail Yasin, 76; Virgilio Nemar Patulada alias Mohammad Alam Patulada, 52; Salib Akhmad Emali, 63; Al Wazir Osman, 61; Tani Lahaddahi, 63; Julham Rashid, 69; and Datu Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, 53; were not directly involved in the skirmishes that occurred, nor was there proof that they had killed any member of the security force in cold blood or had injured anybody.
Militant Moro group Suara Bangsamoro said it welcomed the recent decision made by Chung.
Amirah Lidasan, national president of Suara Bangsamoro, said they were also “relieved about the decision.”
Lidasan said the government should have “interceded in the Lahad Datu affair by helping our Filipino compatriots.”
“We hope (that) with this decision of Malaysian authorities, it will help bridge the gap between the Kiram family and the Malaysian government. It helps to also recognize that the new administration of President (Rodrigo) Duterte vowed to help the Kiram family resolve the situation. This will also help bridge the relations between the two countries,” she said. SFM
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