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Alleged Malaysian atrocities need validation, says DFA

/ 03:44 PM March 12, 2013

Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez. INQUIRER.NET FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—While recent reports of human rights violations in Sabah have made headlines, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday every information will have to be validated before authorities can act on it.

Filipinos fleeing strife-torn villages in Sabah told stories of alleged abuses by Malaysian authorities who are hunting down the armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in Borneo.

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“First thing that we have to do is gather stories or reports [on human rights violations] and make sure that we’re able to validate the reports before we go to the next step,” Hernandez said in a televised press conference, but refused to go into details on what the next step would be.

He said victims still have to go through the process of providing a signed formal statement that will then be checked by authorities.

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Hernandez said that acting on purported human rights violations without having them verified is “irresponsibility.”

He said authorities could be the one to look for these alleged victims to get details from them, saying the DFA has done similar action in the past where victims were even offered legal and other forms of assistance.

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TAGS: DFA, Foreign affairs, Malaysia, Philippines, Sabah, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, Sultanate of Sulu
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