Sabah claimant: I was paid

MANILA, Philippines -- One of the 8 Filipinos facing charges over the Sabah standoff told the Malaysian High Court on Thursday, March 22, that he was paid by "someone," state news agency Bernama said. 

Bernama reported that Holland Kalbi, who spoke in Badjao, also expressed regret for being involved in the Sabah incursion. He spoke without a counsel.

Judge P. Ravinthran of the High Court did not allow Kalbi's statements to be included in the official proceedings because he appeared in court without a lawyer.

Bernama has identified all 8 suspects, who have been tagged as "terrorists" by Malaysian authorities. They are facing charges of either "engaging in terrorism," waging war against Malaysia's king and "protecting the terrorist group."

The 8 Filipinos charged are:

They are among about 200 members of the Sultanate of Sulu's Royal Security Force who sailed to Lahad Datu, Sabah in February from Simunul, Tawi-Tawi. 

Hooland, Hadir, Suhalili, Salleh, Manuel and Abu Bakar are facing charges for either engaging in terrorism or waging a war against the Malaysian king. 

Uyong and Tiong, meanwhile, were charged with "protecting the terrorist group," Bernama said. 

During Thursday's proceedings, a court interpreter read the charges filed against the 8 Filipinos and explained the corresponding punishment involved. 

In court, Hadir, one of the suspects, also admitted he entered Malaysia last February using an international passport, but he was prevented by the judge from elaborating further without consulting a lawyer.

It is not clear if the suspects were among the 107 people arrested under Malaysia's Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act, which in 2012 replaced the highly controversial Internal Security Act approved by the British colonizers. 

PH authorities checking names

OIC Governor Mujiv Hataman also told MindaNews Thursday night he would have the families of the accused located. - with reports from Angela Casauay/Rappler.com