Navy ship to try to fetch Filipinos locked in stand-off over Sabah claims
MANILA (AP) - The Philippines is sending a navy ship to waters off eastern Malaysia to bring back some of about 180 Filipinos who became locked in a standoff with the Malaysian authorities after travelling to the area to claim the territory.
The group, which includes an armed security team of about 30 men, arrived in Sabah state's coastal district of Lahad Datu about two weeks ago, claiming Sabah belongs to their clan. The Malaysian authorities regard them as armed intruders and have attempted to persuade them to leave peacefully.
The Philippine and Malaysian authorities have said the group's demands should be addressed through diplomatic channels.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said on Sunday that the navy ship would try to pick up five women and some of the other group members.