PNP chief describes situation in Sabah as ‘volatile’


Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines— Philippine National Police Director General Alan Purisima said Saturday said that the situation in Sabah remains “volatile” as heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu pursue their territorial claims to the eastern Malaysian state.

Purisima said that the Philippine police attaché in Malaysia, Senior Superintendent Carlo Collado, belonged to the PNP Directorate for Intelligence and thus “reports to us.”

Asked what the latest report from Collado was about the standoff in Sabah, Purisima replied, “Perhaps we will just take that up next time because the situation is volatile because it involves more of diplomacy.”

Pressed for elaboration, Purisima added, “If you say something that (involves) another country, you just don’t say anything because we consider diplomacy.”

Purisima declined to comment on the group of Filipinos, some of them reportedly armed, who claimed to be followers of the sultan of Sulu and were in Sabah to pursue their claim to the territory themselves because they felt betrayed by the Philippine government and had been left out of the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Malaysian police forces have surrounded the group of about 100 and were negotiating with their leaders to leave.

Polly Cunanan, spokesperson for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, said in a text message to Inquirer that the OPAPP “has no official statement yet” on the claim of the heirs of the sultan of Sulu led by Crown Prince Agbimuddin Kiram.

Armed Forces chief of staff General Emmanuel Bautista said the Philippine and Malaysian militaries have agreed to tighten border patrols to prevent other “illegal entries” into each other’s territories to avoid complicating the current situation in Sabah.

The members of the Royal Sultanate Army, some of whom are armed, have congregated in a village in Lahad Datu in East Sabah since last week, according to Bautista.

Bautista told reporters on Friday night that he has been talking with his Malaysian counterpart, General Zulkifli Zainal Abidin, about the situation.

“Ours is to help them contain the situation. They requested us to patrol our borders as they will also patrol their side of the borders to prevent  illegal entrance so as not to further complicate the situation. They are going to address peacefully the situation there,” Bautista said.

Bautista also said he had spoken with Esmail Dalus Kiram II and that the sultan had “agreed to discuss the matter peacefully with the Malaysian (security forces). They are in Sabah. They will resolve the issue there peacefully.”

“They agreed to talk to each other. They will return to the Philippines in due time,” Bautista said.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said that the members of the Royal Sultanate Army were  “restricted to some areas —but they are not detained — so that they will be isolated from the Filipinos who are permanent residents of Sabah.”

Gazmin reiterated that the renewed claim by the heirs and followers of the sultan of Sulu over Sabah was not sanctioned by the Philippine government.

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  • Jezzrel

    Ha ha ha, apong sir.. wala bang cracked sa PNP at AFP? Iyong gustong tumulong sa mga kapatid natin nandoon na sa SABAH?

    SANA mga nagpapatrulya sa southern borders natin ay maluwag at hayaan nila ang mga kababayan nating makalayag papuntang SABAH at ipagpray na lang na makadaong sila ng matiwasay… Sa tingin ko di naman sila papaputukan ng mga malaysian border guards…

    Mabilis ang kani kanilang speedboats, kaya nilang takbuhan ang mga malaysians… he he he…

  • junsepara

    sige lang, pagmay nangyari at namatay ang mga pinoy sa sabah, kayo rin mga kapulisan at sundalo ng pilipinas ang mananagot, hindi lang ang mga sundalo ng malaysia na nasa lupa ng pilipinas!!!!!

  • Jojo

    this the right time to claim what is truly ours …

  • SabahForever


    Sabah does not belong to the Sultanate of Sulu. Sabah belongs to SABAHAN NATIVES, which consist of many different races and religious background; including kadazan-dusun-muruts, chinese, sabahan-suluk, sabahan-bajau, sabahan-tausug, and many others, you know, THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE HERE AND DEVELOP THIS LAND, BUT NOT THOSE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS FROM SOUTH PHILIPPINES.

    Oh, and these natives, my ancestors, has been living in Sabah since BEFORE THERE IS ANY SULU SULTANATE.

    The Sabahans has the right of self-determination (United Nations Charter), based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference. It is HIGHLY UNLIKELY they will give in to some foreigner from the South Philippines.

    Oh and also, the International Court of Justice view that : “The point of law is quite simple, but ultimately basic to the international rule of law. It is this: historic title, no matter how persuasively claimed on the basis of old legal instruments and exercises of authority, cannot – except in the most extraordinary circumstances – prevail in law over the rights of non-self-governing people to claim independence and establish their sovereignty through the exercise of bona fide self-determination.”

    Oh and the yearly so-called ‘rental’ payment? That’s just a ‘token of respect’ for the sultan stupidity of selling us out to the British.

    Where were these ‘Sultans’ when Japan occupied North Borneo? Where were they when British and Australian soldiers fought the communist threat and Japanese occupation in North Borneo post WW2, FOR US SABAHANS?

    These so called ‘Sultans’ never gave anything to Sabah development or even fought for our independence, they NEVER did anything for us, oh, i remember ONE thing they did.. THEY SOLD US OUT TO THE BRITISH. To the ‘sultan’ of sulu, STOP INSULTING THE PEOPLE OF SABAH. The fact that they claim Sabah as theirs is AN INSULT TO SABAHAN.

    Say what you want, but the sabahans will NEVER bow down to this illegal and defunct sultanate.

    Only the people of Sabah has the right to OWN Sabah.

    Oh, and we OWN this land. 

    Keep ON dreaming, ignorant, disinformed, pinoy keyboard warriors.

  • goldelguira

    The owner of any lands has the sole responsible to authorized any activities or used of estate for his own good.a Sabah belongs to the Philippines. Let’s help our Muslim brothers in Mindanao, don’t let them die because of Malaysian military.

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