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Public Affairs

Sine Totoo presents Vicky Morales' "Sabah: Ang Bagong Amerika?"


Episode on October 18, 2008 Saturday, 11:30 p.m. July of 2001, 700 Filipino deportees from Sabah, Malaysia arrived by ship at the Zamboanga City port. Most of them carried only the clothes on their backs. Some even walked barefoot - they had no time to grab slippers when they were arrested. The deportees had been illegal immigrants to Sabah. In search of work, they entered Malaysia with the help of illegal recruiters or through the backdoor from Jolo and Tawi-Tawi. For years, they lived and worked in Sabah, evading arrest, until Malaysian authorities imposed stricter implementation of their immigration laws. They were arrested and detained for several months. They were allegedly maltreated - made to sleep without clothes on cold floors. One of them, Basir, was allegedly tortured into confessing to a crime he did not commit. After hearing their unfortunate stories, Vicky Morales travels to Sabah, Malaysia to search for others Pinoy in hiding there... afraid of suffering the same fate. She also encounters more Filipinos aboard a ship, illegally entering Sabah. They would still rather risk being caught while earning well in Malaysia than stay in the Philippines and starve. Vicky Morales' documentary "Sabah: Ang Bagong Amerika?", a finalist at the 2002 New York Festivals, airs again this Saturday on Sine Totoo.
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