Malaysia's national news agency Bernama has identified the eight Filipinos facing charges as a result of the Sabah standoff.
Judge P. Ravinthran of the High Court is trying the Filipinos, who are accused of either, or both, "engaging in terrorism," "waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," or "protecting the terrorist group."
The "terrorist group" being referred to is the 235-strong Royal Security Force (RSF) of the Sultanate of Sulu, which has engaged Malaysia's massive combined forces of at least 5,000 men in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia's 13th federal state.
Rajah Muda Agbimuddin Kiram led the RSF, sailing from the island on Feb. 11 from Simunul, Tawi-Tawi by small boats, arriving the next day.
Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, however, had rejected the terrorist tag, saying earlier "we are not terrorists."
He said his younger brother the Rajah Muda and his followers went to Sabah "to settle" in their "ancestral homeland," but instead, as he asserted, they were attacked and branded as terrorists.
Named by the news agency are Holland Kalbi, Timhar Hadir, Habil Suhaili, Lin Mad Salleh, Basad Manuel, Kadir Uyung, Lating Tiong and Atik Hussain Abu Bakar.
Accused for either or both "engaging in terrorism" and/or "waging a war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong," are Kalbi, Hadir, Suhaili, Manuel; Salleh; and Abu Bakar.
Uyung and Tiong are being prosecuted for allegedly "protecting the terrorist group."
Kalbi reportedly admitted "he was asked and paid to do so by someone," apparently referring to the trip to Sabah.
However, Ravinthran did not allow the statement of Kalbi and his co-accused to be recorded because they did not have a lawyer yet during the Thursday proceedings.
The judge asked the court interpreter to explain to them the charges against them.
Meanwhile, Bernama (http://www.bernama.com.my) also reported the statement of Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail that Malaysia's Security Offenses (Special Measures) Act (SOSMA) of 2012 "has no provision for prosecution."
"The SOSMA is not similar to the Penal Code. It is not correct to say that the suspects would be charged under the Act," the Malaysian official clarified.
He said some journalists and members of the public have "misconstrued" the act.
SOSMA, which allows the police to make a warrant-less arrest and detention of suspects up to 28 days, replaced the highly-criticized Internal Security Act (ISA).