The governors of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) appealed Monday to the Sultan of Sulu and the Malaysian government to resolve the Sabah crisis in a more peaceful and honorable manner.
"We are appealing to our Sultan, Sultan Jamalul (Kiram) and (the) government of Malaysia if they could resolve this crisis into a more peaceful and honorable manner," Sulu Gov. Hadji Abdusakur Tan told a press conference at the Gateway in Cubao, Quezon City.
Tan admitted the ARMM governors received text messages from Malacanang, asking them to assist in resolving the Sabah situation which worsened last Friday when a firefight between Kiram's supporters and the Malaysian army broke out.
"They (are) asking for our help because the President (Aquino) knows that we know the culture of our countrymen in Sabah," Tan said.
The Sulu governor expressed concern that if the Filipinos living in Sabah will return in Sulu and other part of ARMM would bring problem.
"If our countrymen will return, it would create big problem. That's why we are appealing to our Sultan to consider the problem the crisis would bring in Mindanao. We have no food and shelter to provide for them if they will return," Tan said.
Tan said he was able to talk with Kiram's brother Sultan Esmael but refused to reveal the full details of their conversation.
Tawi-Tawi Gov. Hadji Saadikul Sahali said the tension in Sabah has resulted in the increase of the prices of commodities in the ARMM.
"There is already increase in the value of food stock. Commodities becoming very high unlike before the standoff," Sahali said.
Sahali said he has already alerted the Tawi-tawi municipal mayors for the return of the Filipinos from Sabah.
Maguindanao Gov. Hadji Esmael Mangundadatu believed the Philippine government will be able to resolve the Sabah crisis in a peaceful manner.