Legarda: We Must Exhaust All Possible Means for Resolution of Sabah Conflict Without Further Bloodshed

March 7, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that the government needs to do everything it can to prevent further bloodshed in the on-going conflict between the Malaysian forces and followers of the Sulu Sultanate in Sabah.

Legarda, Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, noting that Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has asked to speak directly with the President, said that “if by acceding to this request, a window of opportunity will be opened to end the bloodshed and the stand-off, then, the President should seriously consider this request. We should not be speculating what Malaysia’s reactions will be on matters that will be discussed during the meeting.”

“The situation demands that we exhaust all possible means, including an opportunity for the President to meet with Sultan Kiram. If our government is not willing to listen to them without pre-conditions, I wonder who will,” she added.

The Senator also urged the Malaysian government to allow the Philippine government to help Filipinos in Sabah who wish to return to the Philippines.

“We are asking Malaysia to provide a corridor by which non-combatants may return to the Philippines. We should not relent in pursuing this, but we should not abandon the rest of the Filipinos who are involved in the situation. We need to pursue all avenues by which we can avoid further loss of lives,” Legarda concluded.***