Ref: Prof H. Harr L. Roque, Director, Institute of International Legal Studies

University of the Philippines Law Center



The use of modern fighter jets and air strikes against the followers of the Sultanate of Sulu is illegal. Under human rights law, the use of force in police operations should be absolutely necessary and strictly proportional to the threat posed by the Filipinos in Sabah. Moreover, Respect for the right to life of a police suspect requires that the nature and degree of force used be proportionate to the threat posed by the suspect to the safety and security of the police officers, other individuals and society as a whole. Malaysian Law enforcement officials should, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to force, and in particular, the resort to airstrikes.


Since the use of force against the Filipinos involved in the standoff is illegal, Malaysia has committed an internationally wrongful act. Accordingly, the Philippine government, in addition to espousing the rights of its nationals, should also demand that the international community should ask Malaysia to cease and desist from further breaching human rights law. It should later be asked to pay compensation to the victims of its use of disproportionate use of force.

News of Malaysias use of air strikes may be found here:



  1. ca says:

    Hear hear!

    They should have sent unarmed constables serving out warrants of arrest. If they are taken hostage by the gunmen, then…….oh wait.

    Police operation lol my ass. You have an inflitration by foreign elements inside what they consider there own territory, and armed and saying its theirs (the foreign elements). How else do you expect a response? Handing out warrants of arrest? The fact is, its a miracle it extended this long coz the Malaysians also believed it can be negotiated. But its the gunmen’s fault, this all or nothing sentiment. Sigh.

  2. aaron a. legaspi says:

    The use of jets maybe overkill but who will arrest the Malaysians for driving away the real Owners who are now considered as illegals and invader.

  3. Jamie says:

    Are you serious, Mr Roque? Are you aware that the Malaysian government had extended the deadline for negotiations and talks THREE times? That the gunmen had more than a week to reach a peaceful agreement but chose not to pursue it? Would any other country have waited that long? Do you know the manner in which the police officers were killed in Kpg Seri Jaya, by these very same gunmen? Do you not think that the people of Sabah, whose land were intruded by men carrying GUNS do not have any rights at all that they must let these gunmen do anything they like?

    One gunmen were lynched by a group of villagers when he tried to take them hostage – armed with an M-16, no less.. Are you saying the villagers are TOO violent, too overboard in this matter? Because it that’s the case I’d like to see YOU in the same situation, and see if you’d think the same way.

  4. Jamie says:

    ‘. Malaysian Law enforcement officials should, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to force, and in particular, the resort to airstrikes.’ <—- It's as though you missed a WHOLE 2 WEEKS of events before military strikes happened. Peace talks and negotiation had been carried out. Deadlines extended THREE times. Why do people always seem to conveniently leave that out?? Please carry out your research thoroughly and don't selectively leave out events that doesn't give your words weight!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s