Thursday, 07 March 2013 08:40
Bernama report ‘OUT OF CONTEXT’ - Philippines
PETALING JAYA - The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has denied a Bernama report that Manila and Kuala Lumpur have agreed to label the self-proclaimed Sulu Royal Army troop as "terrorists".
The Philippine news portal ABS-CBN News reported today that Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario had only concurred in describing the killings as "terroristic acts".
Bernama had on Tuesday quoted Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman as saying: "Secretary Rosario agreed that this group should be labelled as terrorists".
Anifah had met with del Rosario on Monday night, just hours before Malaysian armed forces launched a full-scale attack against supporters of Sulu "sultan" Jamalul Kiram III holed up in Kg Tanduo, Lahad Datu.
"According to Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Malaya, who was present at the meeting (with Anifah), the (Bernama) report is out of context," the DFA said in a statement emailed to ABS-CBN News.
"In Semporna, there were alleged acts of terrorism. As reported by the Malaysian foreign minister, after the police forces were lured into an ambush and killed, their bodies were mutilated and desecrated," the DFA statement reads.
"If indeed these atrocities were committed, the secretary and the foreign minister both agreed that these were, at the very least, terroristic acts."
The DFA reported on its official website that del Rosario was also tasked by President Benigno Aquino to explore "acceptable" avenues to end the standoff. - thesundaily