No Malaysian response to 'maximum tolerance' plea - DFA
The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines -- Malaysia has not yet responded to the Philippines’ request for maximum tolerance in the treatment of followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who went on a “journey back to their homeland” in Sabah, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said Wednesday.
At a press conference, Hernandez also said the DFA has not received any report on casualties in Tuesday’s airstrikes and land operations against what the Malaysian government has called “intruders” and “terrorists.”
He said the DFA could not send their people to the conflict areas and has had to rely on information from the Malaysian government that DFA personnel on the ground can verify once the situation there settles down.
The DFA spokesman merely elaborated on the Q&A transcript the DFA sent to media outfits early Wednesday morning.
On reports that Secretary Albert del Rosario agreed to the “terrorist” tag Malaysia has given the sultan’s followers in Sabah, Hernandez said the secretary only agreed to describe the acts of mutilating and desecrating bodies, if true, as “terroristic acts.”
“He did not label the Filipino group as terrorist,” Hernandez stressed.
On the missing letter of Kiram
Hernandez reiterated that Del Rosario is taking full responsibility for the “lost” letter from Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III even if he was not secretary at the time and would write the sultan an apology and a response to the letter.
“The letter is with us. And under the principle of command responsibility, the Secretary takes full responsibility,” he said.
Hernandez also said the DFA will not get in touch with del Rosario’s predecessor, Alberto Romulo, to inquire about how the letter was lost.
Del Rosario will “convey his deepest apologies” for misplacing the letter in the what President Benigno Aquino III earlier described as the “bureaucratic maze,” the DFA spokesman said.
Saying he does not have details of how the letter was found or which office it was sent to, Hernandez would only say it was found a week ago.