Under treat by MNLF from Tawi Tawi to conduct rescue operations in Sabah Philippine government should get their army worried, because it will become a treat of war against a sovereign nation which is not only a close neighbor but also an important ally in the South East Asian region.
A splinter group MNLF, decaying in its political power in the past years is seems to garner political support again when the group assisted Kiram 111 to wage war against Malaysia on the pretense to submit claim on the long lost ancestor land of North Borneo which includes Serawak and Sabah.
Though failed in the war against Malaysian Army, MNLF trained so called Royal Army of Sulu sultanate still maintain that the army led by Azimuddin Kiram is still operative in Sabah but with lesser numbers of able men.
The Malaysian Army is one of the strongest armies in the region after Indonesian and Singapore armies in term of military assets and military spending per GDP. Alone Philippine government won’t be able to strike a powerful blow against tricky MNLF operation and its gorilla trained army, what more to wage a war against Malaysia’s strong defense military asset if the government is to assist and cooperate with MNLF to stage a claim of North Borneo for Sulu long lost claim against Sabah.
A likely long term solution is to destroy treat by MNLF through a joint combative military operation by attacking MNLF on it own home ground and to promote and assist in carry out economic developments for a peace in the region through cooperation with MILF and Bangsa Moro leaders.