3,568 flee Sabah as of March 20

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - There are now a total of 3,568 returnees from Sabah, according to DILG-ARMM Assistant Secretary Sharifa Pearlsia Dans.

The total includes 230 who arrived in Taganak - part of Sulu's Turtle Islands group, just off Sabah - on March 19.

Out of the new returnees, 61 are from Basilan, 50 from Sulu, 44 from Zamboanga, and 75 from Tawi-Tawi.

The Philippine Coast Guard has assigned BRP EDSA Dos - a vessel with maximum capacity of 500 - to fetch returnees from Sabah.

On Tuesday, March 19, BRP EDSA Dos fetched a batch of 233 from Taganak. Most of them were children (108) and women.

Bongao Station Commander Lawrence Roque said the Coast Guard is ready to deploy BRP Pampanga - also with maximum 500 capacity - if the need arises. - Rappler.com