Thousands of Filipinos Deported and Suffer in Malaysian Jails
The government of Malaysia continues to deport Filipinos residing in Sabah as thousands more remain in detention centers for months.
The Inquirer reports that almost 5,000 Filipinos have been deported from Sabah and about 3,000 others are in detention centers in Sandakan, Malaysia, the Bureau of Immigration reported Thursday.
Immigration Commissioner Marcelino C.Libanan the Bureau has processed the return to the country of 4,847 Filipinos deported as a result of Malaysia’s continuing crackdown against illegal foreign workers.
Libanan, in a press statement said the deportees are being processed by Task Force Sabah, a team of immigration officers formed last year to process the returnees.
Last year a fact-finding body composed of non-government organizations (NGO’s) including the Association for the rights of children in Southeast Asia, Migrante International and Gabriela, confirmed the human rights abuses of some members of Malaysian Police force committed on some Filipinos who are living in Sabah.
In the same fact-finding report, it said that Filipino residents and workers in Sabah are being subjected to severe beatings by Malaysian police, with some of these deportees suffering from inhuman conditions inside detention centers.
The territorial ownership of Sabah is being contested by the Philippines and Malaysian governments. Sabah is inhabited by Filipinos because the place is owned by the Sultan of Sulo and therefore it is part of Philippine territory. Sulo is located at southern part of the Philippines adjacent to Sabah. The Malaysian government is paying rent to the Sultan of Sulo, a clear proof that the area belongs to the Philippines. Why would Malaysians pay rent for a territory that they claim they own? some organized claimants asked.
Observers to the on-going territorial claims including NGO’s concerned with the human rights violations on Filipinos living in Sabah have called on the Malaysian government to observe status quo on the arbitrary deportation of thousands of Filipinos living in Sabah, in the meantime that the claim is pending with the International Courts.
Most of the Filipinos that are being deported to the Philippines have been living in Sabah for many years, knowing the land is a territory of the Philippine government. Some of them especially the children do not even speak the Filipino language and have not once set foot on Philippine soil.
Tags: Politics , Immigration , Human Rights , Malaysia , Sabah
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