Published: Monday February 25, 2013 MYT 5:03:00 PM
Lahad Datu stand-off: Philippines humanitarian ship anchors off Sabah waters
By RUBEN SARIO
KOTA KINABALU: A Philippines humanitarian ship is anchored off Sabah waters waiting for the go-ahead to receive some 150 armed Sulu gunmen holed up at a remote seaside village in Lahad Datu.
Apart from carrying food supplies, the ship is equipped to treat any injured individuals.
"We have a medical team of five on stand-by for any eventuality," Dr Sangkula Lajali, who is heading the group, told The Star by telephone.
The ship left Tawi Tawi just before dawn on Monday and had been “holding pattern" at the Philippines-Malaysia border area.
"We are awaiting the necessary approval to enter Sabah waters," he said adding that the ship could arrive in Lahad Datu “very quickly.”
Another vessel had reportedly departed the southern Philippine island province of Sulu early Monday for Sabah waters.
Philippines officials said the ship was transporting a member of Sulu Sultanate family accompanied by certain government officers.
Tawi Tawi governor Sadikul Sahali told the Philippines media that he was aware of the vessel from Sulu but did not disclose as to who was on board.