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Sabah Conflict

Palace: Aquino 'fully aware' of Sabah shooting, wants peaceful solution

March 1, 2013 12:13pm
President Benigno Aquino III is "fully aware" of the reported firefight between Malaysian authorities and a group of armed Filipinos in Sabah, and instructed government officials to try to continue finding a "peaceful solution" to the problem, a Malacañang official said Friday.

This developed as an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the shooting had stopped as of Friday noon.

In a radio interview, Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office head Ricky Carandang also said the concerned Cabinet members may talk to their Malaysian counterparts for a peaceful resolution.

"He (Aquino) is fully aware of what happened. [He wants to have] a peaceful solution to this," Carandang said in an interview on dzBB radio.

He, however, declined to give further details, saying they are still "verifying" details of the incident.

A separate report by dzBB's Benjie Liwanag Jr. said Aquino wants a peaceful solution to the incident within the day.

A separate report on dzRH radio said Aquino was in Bulacan Friday morning on an engagement.

Earlier, Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the leader of the group of Filipinos in Sabah, said they were fired upon by Malaysian security forces. He said that while some of the Filipinos had been wounded, they are not surrendering.

DFA: No casualties

In a separate interview on dzBB, Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez said DFA secretary Albert del Rosario had talked to Malaysian ambassador to Manila Dato’ Mohd Zamri Mohd Kassim.

"Officially kino-confirm ng ambassador ng Malaysia na may putukan na nangyari pero walang casualties," Hernandez said.

He also said the firing had stopped as of Friday noon. "Sa ngayon ang putukan tumigil na." — KBK, GMA News
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