Legarda to Gov’t: Prevent Humanitarian Crisis from Sabah Conflict

March 14, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today called on the government to do everything in its capacity to prevent the occurrence of a humanitarian crisis that could arise due to the ongoing conflict in Sabah.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said that while the government is already preparing for the needs of Filipinos returning from Sabah and arriving at the provinces of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Basilan, it can also call for help from humanitarian organizations like the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“As our government is trying to provide humanitarian and consular assistance to Filipinos involved and are caught in the conflict in Sabah, many of those who have voluntarily evacuated from Sabah are proceeding to Sulu, Tawi-Tawi or Basilan, and with the influx of evacuees, there is a greater need for food, water, and temporary shelter,” she stressed.

“To prevent a humanitarian crisis, it would be prudent to seek assistance from the IFRC not only for those who are already in the country but also for the Filipinos who remain in Sabah. This we must do without abandoning reports of inhumane treatment of Filipinos in Sabah because these allegations need to be immediately verified by our government and action should be undertaken to put the alleged atrocities under check,” Legarda concluded.***