Sultan’s brother open to ‘peaceful’ solution

Conflict puts 800,000 Filipinos in danger, says Roxas

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The heirs of the Sultan of Sulu: (seated from left) Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, Sultan Bantilan Esmail Kiram II and (standing from left) Datu Alianapia Kiram, Datu Phugdal Kiram and Datu Baduruddin Kiram. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The brother of the sultan of Sulu said his group in Lahad Datu town in Sabah was open to negotiate with the Malaysian government just to have a “peaceful” solution to the Sabah standoff.

“Yes. Talagang peaceful negotiation ang kailangan…so long as our rights will not be taken away from us. Negotiation talaga ng gusto namin,” Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram told Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Wednesday when asked if they were open to negotiations.

“Kailangan namin ng ganun, peaceful. We have to renegotiate in a peaceful way,” said Raja Muda, brother of Jamalul Kiram III.

Raja Muda said the standoff could be resolved peacefully “so long as there is no betrayal, so long as they are sincere with the negotiation.”

His statements came just a day after Sultan Jamalul rejected President Benigno Aquino  III’s call  to withdraw  the armed group in the disputed land or “face the full force of the law.”

Raja Muda said they were ready to listen to the President and accept his views if they think these were right.

Unfortunately, the sultan’s brother did not agree with the President’s claim that they may have violated Philippine laws when they refused to leave the land.

“As President and chief executor of our laws, I have tasked an investigation into possible violations of laws by you, your followers, and collaborators engaged in this foolhardy act,” Aquino said Tuesday.

Reacting to this, Raja Muda said:  “E papaano papa-arrest? Ano ang crime na na-commit namin? Sa aming paniwala, wala kaminng crime committed against the Philippine government. We are just doing what we believe is right …”

“We believe [we have not done anything wrong]. We believe, ang ginagawa namin is really right. I think there is no such law against fighting for what is right,” he further said.

Raja Muda insisted that they would not leave Sabah until the issue has been resolved.

And if the Malaysian authorities were to use force to disarm his men, Raja Muda said they have no other choice but defend themselves.

“Kapag sila pumasok sa amin, there’s no other way except to defend ourselves,” he said.

“Hindi nila magagawa yun…Kung magdi-disarm sila, that will be I think the time na lalaban kami,” he added.

Raja Muda said they came to Sabah not to make war especially with fellow Muslims in Malaysia.

“We come here…not to make war against them especially since we belong to the same religion,’ he said when asked what would be his message to the Malaysian government.

And to the residents of Sabah, Raja Muda’s message was: “ We did not come here to die here but we come here to live with them, to stay with them to love each other and enjoy the income of Sabah together.”

He then called on their families in the Philippines and all Filipinos not only to extend them any help but also to show “sympathy” for them.

“The Filipinos must also at least sympathize on our move because we are doing not only for us…This is also for all Filipinos, Christians and Muslims,” Raja Muda added.

Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, in a press conference Wednesday, said the standoff has risked the lives and jobs of some 800,000 Filipinos staying there.

“Nagsalita na ang ating Pangulo ano at talagang nangingibabaw sa  priority  kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan doon, more or less 180 ang ating mga kababayan doon na nasa peligro at ito yung nasa isip ng pangulo ano kaya nanawagan sya na pauwiin na sila ni Sultan Jamalul. Dagdag pa doon more or less 800,000 ang mga kababayan natin ang naghahanap buhay sa Sabah at saka sa Malaysia,” he told reporters.

Roxas said it was important that Malaysia and Philippines to continue good relations.

“Napakahalaga na manatiling maayos ang relasyon ng Pilipinas at saka ng Malaysia dahil ito hanapbuhay na ito ay malalagay sa alanganin. Madadamay sila, mga inosente sila. So eto yung nangingibabaw sa pag iisip ng ating pangulo. Unang una yung kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan at yung pagpapatuloy ng paghahanapbuhay ng ating mga kapwa pilipino doon sa Sabah. Hindi ito ayon nga sa kanya hindi ito ang tamang paraan para tugunan itong claim ng pamilya kirma at meron namang ibang fora para dyan. Sa ngayon ang mahalaga ay yung ligtas at mapayapang paglutas nitong sitwasyon na ito,” he said.

President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday called on Sultan Jamalul to end the standoff in Lahud town in Sabah and leave peacefully but this was rejected.

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  • Olibo

    To all Sabah claimants: Please go home. Many people sympathize with you as we believe you have the legal rights to retake it. But in this situation, it is suicidal. Your Malaysian tenants and brothers in religion are ready to grab and throw you out of your property. Philippine govt. has no guts to back you up. The world is watching but nobody seems to care.   

    • robert franklin

      the whole world is watching and cursing your greedy kiram and his pirates clan of terrorists!

    • Matambaka

      The Sulu RoYal Forces are ready to Go Home..

      But wait… Can they sit down while the group is in Sabah?

      Our Tausug brothers do not want to be fooled again. The Whole world is watching on Malaysia! what course of action Mlaysia would do? Massacre this group sent by the LanLord    which is the Sulu Sultanate?

      If they kill these all 300 supporters Malaysias hand will be tainted with blood. Some of the group are born in Sabah..FYI

  • robert franklin

    JKIII, you are doing injustice to the followers of kiram and his pirates clan holed up in sabah. kiram and his pirates clan should throw away their guns and surrender to end his selfish act. let your followers return to tawi-tawi while they are still alive. they have fathers, mothers, wife and children waiting for them to come home. so return to your family and start farming and fishing, earn honest decent living to feed your family. piracy and terrorism will only get the cursed from Allah.

    • Matambaka

      But it seems after a warning shot…Malaysian  National Security Forces backoff..

      Good, because these Sulu Royal Forces  has came to Malaysia for PEACE but when provoked they have nothing to do but to defend themselves..

      They  can’t comeback to Philippines because our Pro Mal@ySian government has already threatened them Its a do or die situation. Which is a very good strategy of our government and it seems  Malaysia had already become soft  with the Sulu Royal Forces as they say that they will not arrest a them anymore beacause they give in to PHL request… Now Malaysian bite our Trap…PHL request Granted!

  • robert franklin

    This kiram and his pirates clan intruding into malaysia with heavy machineguns and grenade launchers, they won’t return to tawi-tawi beacuse they will be cursed and humiliated by the good innocent hardworking tausogs. for fear of losing face they kept on dreaming sabah and greed is haunting their soul.

    • faroukafero

       pride befor a fall…this is what they believe in.

    • Matambaka

      These machine guns was procured and or donated by Malaysia and will be used to Malaysian if ever a confrontation broke out.

      Malaysia is very supportive in MILF and other rebellion  group in Philippines so as not to claim sabah. But. Now its  different. The Tausug Filipino people is awakened and ready to bite thier Master Malaysia..

      Karma  has already started….

  • NaatabYacuba

    If the Philippine government would not support the Sultan of Sulu to reclaim Sabah, let us show our support to them by donating money.Please open an account that Filipino’s around the world can send money to.

  • robert franklin

    kiram and your pirate clan, the sort of people who are kidnappers, pirates, murderes, terrorists.
    stop dreaming sabah if you cannot even manage law and order in your own sulu backyard.

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