Filipinos sentenced to death over Lahad Datu intrusion
Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, who chaired the three-member panel, overturned the natural life sentence meted out by the Kota Kinabalu High Court on July 26 last year.
The nine men are Julham Rashid, 70; Virgilio Nemar Patulada @ Mohammad Alam Patulada, 53; Salib Akhmad Emali, 64; Tani Lahad Dahi, 64; Basad Manuel, 42, who is the son of the late self-proclaimed Sultan Sulu Jamalul Kiram, Datu Amirbahar Hushin Kiram, 54; Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, 46; Al Wazir Osman @ Abdul, 62; and Ismail Yasin, 77.
Clad in green prison garb and each escorted by two prison guards, the Filipinos showed no emotion after the verdict was delivered.
However, the panel dismissed the prosecution’s appeal against 14 men charged with waging war against the King and for terrorism-related offences.
In affirming the acquittal, Justice Mohd Zawawi said the panel was satisfied that the trial judge was right in holding that no case had been proven against the one Malaysian and 13 Filipinos.
He said the prosecution's case against them was predicated purely on circumstantial evidence which did not point irresistibly to the fact that they were involved in the offences with which they were charged.
However, Justice Mohd Zawawi allowed the application by Deputy Head of the Appellate and Trial Division Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud for the 14 to be remanded pending filing of appeal. - Star, 9/6/2017
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/06/09/nine-get-the-gallows-for-waging-war-filipinos-sentenced-to-death-over-lahad-datu-intrusion/#YF03ZTGemFbksjRe.99
Six plead guilty to being part of terror group
The men, who were facing various charges for their involvement in the intrusion of Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu in 2013, changed their plea and admitted to being members of a terror group under Section 130KA of the Penal Code, yesterday.
They are Atik Hussin Abu Bakar, Basad Manuel, Ismail Yasin, Virgilio Nemar Patuluda @ Mohammad, Lin Mad Salleh and Holland Kalbi. Atik, Basad, Ismail and Virgilio are also facing charges under Section 121 of the Penal Code for waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Two other Filipino nationals and three Malaysians who are facing similar charges in connection with the intrusion are expected to change their pleas as well before Justice Stephen Chung today.
Counsel Datuk N. Sivananthan, who represented the accused, told the court that his clients had been promised jobs and identity cards by their leader, General Musa, the chief of staff of Datu Agbimuddin Kiram who was a brother of the self-styled Sulu Sultan.
In seeking a lenient sentence for his clients, he told Justice Chung that although they admitted to being members of a terror group known as the Royal Sulu Force (RSF), they were not involved in its militant activities.
He said this was consistent with their statements recorded individually before a Sessions Court judge in Lahad Datu shortly after their arrests sometime in March 2013.
Sivananthan noted that the sentence for those convicted under this section of the Penal Code was from one day in jail to life imprisonment.
He said the court should take into account the extent of the accused’s involvement in the group’s militant activities before meting out the sentence.
Senior Federal Counsel Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar urged the court to impose a maximum penalty, saying a lenient sentence would undermine and compromise Malaysia’s sovereignty.
He said the accused had admitted to being members of a terror group, adding that terrorism had become a global threat.
Noting that the trial involved the first case of an intrusion by a group of foreigners into Malaysia, Dusuki said the court decisions would be a benchmark and serve as a precedent for subsequent cases.
Justice Chung said he would read out the sentences for the accused at the end of the trial which was held at the State Prison in Kepayan near here under tight security.
Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2016/02/24/six-plead-guilty-to-being-part-of-terror-group-filipinos-involved-in-lahad-datu-intrusion-change-ple/#FVo5GcDv2oGI452W.99
- Published on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 15:05
Lahad Datu invasion: A painful memory of 2013
The group, comprising over a hundred people, was quickly identified to be followers of self-proclaimed Sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III. They were led by Jamalul's brother Agbimuddin Kiram.
Hailing from Pulau Simunul of Tawi-Tawi in the southern Philippines, the group first entered Malaysian waters by boat on Feb 9 and gathered in stages at Felda Sahabat 17 in Kampung Tanduo, Lahad Datu, as a means of ‘reclaiming’ part of Borneo as their ancestral land. This forced some eighty locals to flee from 15 homes.
Upon being discovered by fishermen, the Filipino rebels broke into smaller groups and entered several locations in the village, including Kampung Sungai Bakau.
On Feb 14, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Malaysian government would negotiate with the group before ousting them from the area. Then Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar said negotiations with the group were in progress to find the best solution without bloodshed.
Two days later, then Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein made a statement that played down the situation; the group merely comprised ‘malnourished’ and elderly men in sarongs and slippers, mostly unarmed, he said.
The Sulu sultanate also lost their rights in the Madrid protocol of 1885 when their predecessors Spain relinquished all their claims to Sabah, giving all control to Malaysia’s predecessors, the British.
However, it was subsequently learnt that the Malaysian Embassy in the Philippines were issuing cheques for RM5,300 to the legal counsel of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu in keeping with the terms of an 1887 agreement. While Malaysia considered it as annual cession payment for the disputed state, the sultan’s descendants considered it as “rent”.
Many then called for the Malaysian government to reduce or stop the cession payment altogether, including former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and opposition lawyer Karpal Singh.
The first shootout between Malaysian security forces and the small group of Filipino rebels broke out on March 1 when the latter tried to break a police blockade in Kampung Tanduo. Najib confirmed that the event had left two police commandos dead while Sabah police commissioner, Datuk Hamza Taib, confirmed that 12 of Kiram’s followers were killed.
At this juncture, the Philippines government seemed to totally leave the fate of the royal Sulu army in the hands of the Malaysian security forces.
In the early hours of March 3, a group of Filipino gunmen, believed to be less than 10, ambushed the police in a village in Semporna, Sabah. The media reported that six Malaysian police officers and seven assailants were killed. It was also reported that four of the policemen had their bodies mutilated, with one beheaded.
On March 5, three F-18 and five Hawk aircraft filled the Kampung Tanduo skies in an airstrike against the Filipino rebels at dawn in an effort to flush them out. Thirteen of the Sulu gunmen were killed in the process. The deaths were confirmed by then Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Codenamed Ops Daulat, the ‘mopping up’ stage also saw ground troops going door-to-door to sniff out the intruders. However, none were caught.
Kampung Tanduo was finally secured by Malaysian forces on March 11, with the bodies of 22 Sulu gunmen recovered. Despite the deaths, the Kiram family insisted that its army stay put in Sabah and not surrender.
Between March 20 and April 1, 15 Filipino nationals were charged in court over the incursion – eight of them in the Tawau High Court while the rest in the Lahad Datu Magistrate’s Court.
A Malaysian Special Branch officer, Corporal Hassa Ali Basari, was also charged and convicted for intentionally refraining from disclosing information on terrorist acts by the Sulu gunmen in Lahad Datu.
Ops Daulat ended on June 29 when it was replaced by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM). The body is now responsible for security arrangements in the area, covering all operations from northern Kudat to south-eastern Tawau. This is to ensure that Sabah’s eastern sea borders remain safe. A 24-hour ESSCOM operations room was also announced on Aug 12.
The Lahad Datu standoff reportedly saw a total of 68 deaths – 56 from the Sulu sultanate, nine from the Malaysian authorities and six civilians.