MANILA — The Philippine Embassy on Monday said it is “deeply concerned” over the reported deaths of three undocumented Filipino teenagers during an immigration raid by Malaysian authorities in Lahad Datu, Sabah on March 21.
Victims were identified as Nordin Akang, 16; Lahudin Nasir, 17; and Alex Nasir, 18, of Kampung Bakau, Lahad Datu, who died during an operation conducted by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) against undocumented individuals at the Lahad Datu public market.
“The Philippine Embassy is deeply concerned about this turn of events, and even as the cause of the deaths of the three Filipinos, two of whom are minors, are being investigated,” it said in a statement as it called for “humane treatment of undocumented individuals, including the manner by which operations are conducted.”
Malaysia is home to thousands of Filipinos. Many of them are undocumented and reside in Malaysian-controlled Sabah, a resource-rich territory also being claimed by the Philippines.
Every year, hundreds of Filipinos enter Sabah through Mindanao in search of a better life. Most of the undocumented Filipinos in Sabah hail from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and other far-flung provinces in the south that are among the Philippines’ poorest and constantly plagued by armed conflict between Muslim rebels and government troops.
The embassy dispatched on Sunday a three-man team to Lahad Datu to look into the deaths of the Filipinos.
They met the brothers of the three victims and conferred with ESSCOM and police authorities Monday morning.The team has asked for a full, impartial investigation, and to be furnished a copy of any police report, the embassy said.