|Lahad Datu in Sabah (Google Maps)|
Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya and Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Jose S. Brillantes informed Sunday Royal Malaysian Police Inspector General Tan Sri Ismail Omar of the group's presence and their mission.
"We would like to see how we could work with local authorities in further assisting our nationals affected by the situation," Undersecretary Brilliantes said.
"We are here in Lahad Datu on a consular, humanitarian mission. We would also like to extend consular assistance to the wounded and other affected nationals, and have access to them once practicable," Ambassador Malaya stated.
Undersecretary Brilliantes was dispatched from Manila to Malaysia last February 25 to assist the Philippine Embassy in handling the situation.
The Embassy consular team that are in Lahad Datu include Consul General Medardo Macaraig, Police Attaché Charlo Collado, Assistance to Nationals (ATN) officer Mustapha Lucman and Ariel Esparto, Attaché Joy Calip and Police Administrative Assistant Pastor Reano.
Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario left for Kuala Lumpur Monday to meet with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman to continue discussions on how to avert further loss of lives and to appeal to the Malaysian authorities to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with the remaining members of Kiram’s group in Lahad Datu.
Secretary del Rosario will also try to personally convey the Philippine Government’s requests for a full briefing by Malaysian authorities on the situation and for clearance for the Philippine Navy ship AT-296 Tagbanua to proceed to Lahad Datu to enable the Philippine medical personnel aboard to provide humanitarian and consular assistance and provide medical care to the wounded and ferry them and the remaining members of the group back to their respective homes and families.
Ever since the Kiram group landed in Lahad Datu three weeks ago, Secretary del Rosario has been in touch with the Malaysian authorities on a daily basis in search for a peaceful resolution to the situation.