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Security forces in South go on high alert

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Malaysia’s General Operations Force officers stand guard near Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, Malaysia’s eastern Sabah state, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013l. AP FILE PHOTO/BERNAMA NEWS AGENCY

ZAMBOANGA CITY—Police and military forces in Western Mindanao went on high security alert on Friday after Malaysian police raided a village in Sabah and expelled armed followers of the sultan of Sulu from a village that the intruders had occupied for nearly three weeks.

Chief Supt. Juanito Vano, chief of the Western Mindanao police office, said security forces were watching out for “sympathizers” and relatives of the Kiram family and any moves that indicated the clan was sending “reinforcements” to Sabah to help the group led by the sultan’s brother, Agbimuddin Kiram.

“We are ready for any eventuality, including a spillover of the violence,” Vano said.

Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, commander of the military in Western Mindanao, said government troops were ready to respond to the consequences of Malaysia’s decision to end the standoff by force.

Brothers in Islam

Sulu Gov. Abdusakur Tan said the turn of events in Lahad Datu was lamentable and urged the Malaysians and the Kirams to discuss the Sulu clan’s proprietary claim to Sabah.

“Talk this over as brothers in Islam. We cannot resolve anything through violence. This would even complicate matters,” Tan said.

The governor called for sobriety among the Tausug amid fears that the supporters of the Kirams might sail to Sabah to reinforce Agbimuddin’s group.

Tausug outraged

Many Tausug here were outraged by the expulsion of Agbimuddin and his “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo” from Tanduao.

Mudjail Sailani, 20, cried when he heard news about the police raid on Tanduao.

“It’s not fair for the Aquino administration to allow our fellow Tausug and Samal brothers to die just like that in our own land. Sabah is our land, not theirs,” Sailani said.

“This is wrong, very wrong,” Momaina Abubakar, another Tausug, said.

Alim Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the Islamic Council Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), appealed for sobriety, but stressed that his group stood “one with the sultanate of Sulu in pursuing its Sabah claim.”

Some of the armed men in Agbimuddin’s group are MNLF members.


Octavio Dinampo, a professor at Mindanao State University, said “Sabah does not belong to the Malaysians.”

He warned that the attack on Agbimuddin’s group could result in “reprisals and revenge on the enemies.”

Many Malaysians live in Muslim communities in Mindanao, including Jolo.

Peter Paul Galvez, spokesperson for the Department of National Defense, said the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard were tightly watching the coasts of Tawi-Tawi province for any attempts by the Kirams’ supporters to sail to Sabah to reinforce Agbimuddin’s group.

Galvez said the department was also watching the supporters of the sultan in Taguig City for their reaction to the news of the police raid on Agbimuddin’s group in Tanduao.

Galvez appealed to the sultan, his family, and their followers to stay calm and to avoid further conflict and more bloodshed. With a report from Jeanette Andrade

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Tags: Agbimuddin Kiram , Kiram Family , Sabah standoff , Sultan of Sulu , Sultanate of Sulu , Western Mindanao

  • rock_steady

    The 10 martyrs that dies in Sabah opened our eyes to the reality that yes, we can pursue our claim on Sabah. a month ago, if you tell me we have a claim on Sabah, I would say you got to be  dreaming. But these brave men, giving up their lives for a cause they believed in, opened our minds, and our hearts that yes, our claim to Sabah is not dormant, as our president describe it.nobody in the government would touch this issue, and I understand their hesitation. At the same time, I cannot continue to believe in Malaysia’s claim of being the true owner of Sabah. Sultan J Kiram III knows he is close to the twilight of his years, and he want this settled before he dies, or he dies trying. He made it clear that the sulatanate of Sulu remains a territory of the Philippines, and thus Sabah, being a part of the Sulatnate of Sulu, is part of the Philippines by extension. What Malaysia wants is to keep paying a “rent” that will not even be enough rent for a city block in modern times. Malaysia wants to uphold the Sultan to an antiquated deal that does not reflect the reality of the modern times. Those 10 martyrs in Sabah has made history by laying down their lives to this historic claim. Because of their blood, Sabah is not a dormant claim anymore. 

  • rock_steady

    Those filipino soldiers were looking for food because the Malaysian forces were starving them, then when they came too close the Malaysian special forces sniper team shot them from hundred of meters away like helpless animals. Our people were slaughtered. Even Malaysia confirms they were looking for food but the Malaysian forces shot them with their high power log range sniper rifles. These soldiers died without any hint of aggression on their part. This is a massacre, not an encounter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/enrique.ilagan Enrique Ilagan

    I heard they say If one Tausug dies for a cause then a hundred follows.they are the liberator of the past and now they will rise again for the same cause. they are the spartans of the milleniums.Hail the Philippine Spartans is awakening.

  • http://twitter.com/joboni96 Jose Bonifacio

    most of all huwag magpagamit sa intsik switik
    at imperyalistang u.s. to weaken and
    divide and rule our nation again

    talk economics not sovereignty
    we’ll support you in whatever way we can

    prove that you deserve to economically recover sabah
    use asean integration as the vehicle

     tuloy ang laban but be more prepared and united
    malaysia now is wealthy and well armed

    present only one well prepared and polished spokesman
    who knows how to project in the media

    don’t expect much from the pnoy administration
    they are up to their bonbonan in utang na loob to malaysia

    but don’t antagonize the administration either
    get the most out of it

    tuloy ang laban but be more prepared and united
    malaysia now is wealthy and well armed

    appoint only one well prepared and polished spokesman
    who knows how to project in the media

    don’t expect much from the pnoy administration
    they are up to their bonbonan in utang na loob to malaysia

    but don’t antagonize the administration either
    get the most out of it 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


  • kismaytami

    When malaysia send terror in Mindanao, the PH government is sleeping like a baby. But when Filipinos want to fight their rightful claim of North Borneo, the PH government blocks them. Now, we know to whom PH government is working for, definitely not for Filipinos.


    THE END, no matter how lofty it may be, DOES NOT justify the MEANS.

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