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Malaysia frees LP candidates in Sabah; no raps filed

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 03:55 AM April 12, 2013

Strategic Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang: We have convinced Malaysia. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A Liberal Party mayoral candidate from Tawi-Tawi and 31 supporters who were swept by strong currents to Lahad Datu in Sabah last Tuesday are free to return home without any charges being filed against them, Malacañang said Thursday.

Strategic Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said the government has convinced Malaysia that Rommel Matba and his supporters were not reinforcements for the followers of the Sultan of Sulu who had crossed into Lahad Datu in mid-February.

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“They wandered into that territory, they’ve been processed and they’ll be back maybe by today or tomorrow,” Carandang told a Palace briefing.

According to Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the Malaysians saw that “this was not an incursion and that their boat was only swept by current and wind. And they saw that they had relevant papers and IDs with them and that they were carrying campaign materials.”

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Quoting the Philippine National Police, Roxas said Thursday night that Matba and his companions were released from Malaysian custody and were ”now at Sandakan pier on their way home.”

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TAGS: candidates, Diplomacy, Elections, Liberal Party, Malaysia, Philippines, Politics, Rommel Matba
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