9 Filipino “freedom fighters” sentenced to death over Sabah claims
9 Filipinos fighting for what is believed to be their land had been sentenced to death in Malaysia. A Malaysian court handed down death sentences in connection to the 2013 incursion into the Malaysian part of Borneo island by Philippine fighters seeking to stake an ancient claim, as reported by GMA News.
This incursion by the said fighters started a month-long crisis and had killed at least 27 people when Malaysian troops for the arrests the said militants. This incursion has halted operations in Sabah’s palm oil industry and, at that time, created a problem that might lose investor’s interest in creating business in the region.
The five-members Federal Court panel believes that the death sentences were the most appropriate punishment, upholding a previous decision by a lower court to increase the life sentences penalty. 14 other men however, have been released by a lower court.
Malaysia already dismissed the demands of the fighters as the Philippines had repeatedly told the group to put down their weapons and come home.
The plight of the members had demanded recognition, and also an increased payment from Malaysia, for their claim to be rightful owners of Sabah, which an ancient sultanate leased to British colonialists in the 19th century, according to the same report.
Source: GMA News