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11 more Filipinos in Sabah standoff charged with terror crimes

Xinhua - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Eleven more Filipinos were charged by Malaysia with terrorism-related offenses for allegedly taking part in last February's violent standoff in Sabah, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said today.

"The latest information that I received this morning is there are now 19 who have been charged. This is an increase of 11 from 8, " Del Rosario told a press briefing.

Philippine embassy officials in Malaysia, he said, have access to the Filipinos, who will be provided legal assistance.

There are also another 333 who are in detention mostly for immigration violations, Del Rosario said.

"We are seeing how this situation develops. We think that we have a good legal adviser who will be helping our people there," he said.  

The 11 are the second group to face charges since close to 200 followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III sailed to the coastal town of Lahad Datu from Tawi-Tawi on Feb. 12 to press ownership over Sabah. Dozens more are in Malaysian custody and awaiting charges to be filed against them.

Sabah, located south of Mindanao, is territorially disputed by the Philippines and Malaysia. A Philippine claim for sovereignty over Sabah has lain dormant for decades, but Malaysia continues to pay a yearly rent to the heirs of Sultan of Sulu, who claim to be the descendants of the original Filipino sultan who had control over the territory for centuries.  
 

A PHILIPPINE DEL ROSARIO FEB LAHAD DATU MINDANAO PHILIPPINE FOREIGN SECRETARY ALBERT PHILIPPINES AND MALAYSIA SABAH SULTAN OF SULU SULU SULTAN JAMALUL KIRAM TAWI-TAWI
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