Beng airs concern on Filipino children in war-torn Sabah PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 March 2013 11:32

District 1 Congresswoman Ma Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar has raised concern over the plight of Filipino children in Sabah, whose families may likely be affected and repatriated back to the Philippines, due to continued clashes between followers of a Filipino self-proclamed sultan, whose clan claims ownership of said Malaysian oil-riched state.

As of press time, 19 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, and eight members of the Malaysian forces have reportedly died, following intense firefights that began Friday, last week, in a remote village of Tanduo in Lahad Datu, where Kiram’s followers landed by boat on February 12.

In a text message yesterday, Climaco said, she is worried about the Filipino workers in Sabah, most especially, their children, who would have to succumb to the ill-effects of violence presently taking place in their area.

The lady solon does not also discount the possibility of a mass repatriation of Filipino workers from Sabah, saying, a much bigger problem in sheltering and feeding these repatriates awaits the Philippine government.

“My concern really is the children and their temporary shelter. We have to provide the most basic needs, especially at this time, like food, clothing, shelter, and their safety,” Climaco said.

The congresswoman said  she had already brought these concerns to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) parliament, where the Malaysian government was properly represented too.

Climaco said since Congress is still on recess, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), along with other government agencies are the ones tasked to respond to this kind of problem.

“As people’s representative in Congress, I continue to assist those that would be arriving in Zamboanga City. I help in ways I can,” the lady legislator added. — Philip Abuy