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Kiram’s wife: Sulu group just having a picnic, like in Edsa ’86

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FILE PHOTO

What incursion? It’s an excursion.

Playing down accusations that their family intruded into the Malaysian territory of Sabah, the wife of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III yesterday said their armed followers who occupied a village there were just “having a picnic.”

“What they did is a benevolent action … It’s actually like what happened during the Edsa [People Power Revolution in 1986],” Princess Fatima Cecilia Kiram said.

She also strongly denied President Aquino’s allegation that somebody was financing the members of the “royal forces” of the sultanate of Sulu who sailed to Sabah on Feb. 9 and had since been holed up in the village of Tanduao in Lahad Datu town.

“This is not rebellion. I actually refer to it as an excursion. Our people there were just having a picnic,” a smiling Fatima told reporters in a news briefing at the Kirams’ home in Taguig City.

Turning serious, she said the Kirams and their followers “have had enough” of the Philippine government’s indifference to their plight and their decades-old struggle to assert the sultanate’s ownership of Sabah.

“We have not been remiss. We have repeatedly told the government that, ‘Hey, here we are. Can we do something (to) help you?’ What we need now is a written agreement. We will not entertain any verbal agreement,” she said.

Fatima also clarified that their followers did not go to Sabah on orders of her husband. She said the 235-strong group led by her husband’s brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, went to Sabah “on their own free will.”

In fact, she said it was Agbimuddin who convinced his older brother to allow the group to travel to Sabah and “settle down in their homeland.”

“We did not tell our people to start a fight and resort to violence. Our people went there voluntarily. It was their own free will,” Fatima said.

Fatima dismissed as speculation the President’s claim that Agbimuddin’s group may had received funding, saying it could be part of a “ploy, a desperate move of the government.”

No financier

She said the sultanate’s followers went to Sabah using “money from their own pockets.” She said the group raised less than P100,000 to buy gasoline for the motorboats they used to travel to Sabah from Tawi-Tawi.

Before the Malaysian authorities ordered a food blockade, she said, the residents of Tanduao provided food to Agbimuddin’s group since most of them were relatives of the Kirams.

Not about money

“These speculations are part of their desperate move. They thought our people will not move without a financer. If we have a financer, we could have had more than 250 people going there. Our people may have had more than 30 firearms. In that case, what we will see is an invasion,” she said.

Although she admitted that the family was facing financial woes, Fatima maintained that the Kirams’ fight to take back Sabah was not about money.

“They say this is about our financial difficulties. We are not denying that we are facing financial problems. We may belong to the 70 percent of Filipinos living in poverty, but we survive because of the will of Allah,” she said, choking back tears.

“But there are more of us aspiring for a better life … This fight is a fight to regain our dignity, pride and honor. This involves the patrimony of the Filipino people.”

First posted 8:53 pm | Wednesday, February 27th, 2013


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Tags: Diplomacy , Fatima Cecilia Kiram , Foreign Affairs and International relations , Jamalul Kiram III , Malaysia , Philippines , Sabah , Sabah claim , sultan , Sulu , Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III , Sulu sultanate , territorial dispute

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OPSHQ2YJ3UAZUVKFZKEV27ABDQ Leona

    “This fight is a fight to regain our dignity, pride and honor”.. and to cause many unnecessary deaths. May God forgive you and your family for this transgression. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_26N5TXE3YVEC2YE7Z6PXNE5XNQ boy

    Ang galing naman nila mag picnic..in full battle gear…Kayo nah!!!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DSIUG74H3F6XMOPO6PFRVHWEVI edward

    You malaysian, helped the moros, trained them and give them arms to stir trouble in the 70′s and 80;s……Its payback time.  And this time, christian filipinso and muslim filipinos are now in-synch. Trouble times for malaysia, who dont deserve to exist anyway.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DSIUG74H3F6XMOPO6PFRVHWEVI edward

    You malaysians is a creation of the bloody brits, you are just merely renting sabah from the true owners. Get out of sabah or perish and go back to your former reign of scattered sultanates.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DSIUG74H3F6XMOPO6PFRVHWEVI edward

    Mr. Aquino,, puro ka kabaklaan, puro ka showbiz kapareho ng kapatid mong si kris. Mga Aquino kayo ang nagbigay ng boses sa mga rebelde, sabi nga ni enrile, tinapos na namin iyan kinausap pa ni cory.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DSIUG74H3F6XMOPO6PFRVHWEVI edward

    KARMA,  you malaysians are now in karma.



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