Gov’t extends legal help to Filipinos sentenced to death for Sabah standoff
The Philippine government will be offering legal assistance to the 9 Filipinos sentenced to death by Malaysia’s Court of Appeals for being involved in the Sabah siege four years ago.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Thursday confirmed that while the Court of Appeals affirmed the Malaysian High Court’s decision acquitting 13 Filipinos of crimes related to treason and terrorism, it also affirmed the conviction of the 9 Filipinos.
“The Court of Appeal also affirmed the decision of the High Court convicting nine Filipinos of the crime of waging war against the king,” DFA said. “It also overturned the High Court’s imposition of life imprisonment and imposed the greater penalty of death.”
However, the DFA pointed out that the decision is not yet final and the case will still be heard by the Federal Court of Malaysia (Supreme Court) under automatic appeal.
“The PH Government has extended legal and other forms of assistance to all the defendants from the trial stage of their case up to the appeal, and will continue to extend assistance to them as their case progresses,” the agency said.
It added the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur is “monitoring their case very closely.”
The Star Online reported on Thursday that Malaysia’s Court of Appeals overturned the life imprisonment sentence for the nine Filipinos who participated in the so-called Sabah standoff.
They identified the nine as Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 64; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42; Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77.
The Star Online identified Manuel as the son of the late Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram. KS/IDL