The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Saturday announced that one of its ships have transported 128 Filipinos displaced by the fighting between followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and Malaysian security forces, to safe havens in Taganak, Tawi-Tawi.
A newly born child was among the 128 people assisted by the PCG. "Officials and crew members of PCG search and rescue vessel BRP Nueva Vizcaya (SARV-3502) ... went to Taganak, Tawi-Tawi to transport (the) returnees," it said.
The PCG said the 128 returnees included 58 adults and 70 children. As the vessel crossed Pearl Bank, one of the returnees gave birth to a healthy baby girl with the assistance of Ensign Felix Angelo Angue and Seaman First Class Alvin Balmonte.
The baby girl and her mother were brought to the nearest hospital for further medical treatment while the other returnees were turned over to the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Many Filipinos in Sabah fled their homes to avoid being caught in the clashes between Kiram's followers and Malaysian forces. Both sides engaged in a three-week standoff since February. The standoff ended with deadly clashes March 1 and 2. The clashes prompted offensives by Malaysian forces since March 5.
Philippines News agency