MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is sending a navy ship to waters off eastern Malaysia to bring back some of about 180 Filipinos who became locked in a standoff with Malaysian authorities after traveling to the area to claim the territory.
The group, which includes an armed security team of about 30 men, arrived in Sabah state's coastal district of Lahad Datu about two weeks ago, claiming Sabah belongs to their clan. Malaysian authorities regard them as armed intruders and have attempted to persuade them to leave peacefully.
Philippine and Malaysian authorities have said that the group's demands should be addressed through diplomatic channels.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Sunday that the navy ship would try to pick up five women and some of the other group members.