No surrender, we stay

Sultan unmoved despite Aquino, Malaysian PM’s warning

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SOBERING NEWS Princess Jacel Kiram updates her father, Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III, on the bloodshed on Friday between Malaysian police and Kiram’s followers, who had refused to leave Sabah after their incursion on Feb. 9 to press their claim over what they call their homeland. GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE FILE PHOTO

As Malaysia threatened to take “drastic action” against intruding followers of the sultan of Sulu on Saturday, President Benigno Aquino III sent a message to the group cornered in Sabah: “surrender now, without conditions.”

Twelve of the 235 men led by Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III, were killed in a clash with Malaysian police in the seaside village of Tanduao in Lahad Datu town, Sabah, on Friday morning.

Jamalul was unmoved. He appeared briefly with movie actor Robin Padilla, a Muslim convert, before dozens of journalists at his home in Taguig City.

“The only thing they know is surrender. Why should we surrender in our own home? They did nothing wrong in their own home,” Jamalul said in Filipino, referring to the President’s statement and to his brother in Tanduao.

Agbimuddin texted the sultan early Saturday saying he and his remaining followers were prepared to die.

“After we buried our nine brothers and a sister at sundown, everyone of the 224 left decided to die in Lahad Datu in pursuit of their dreams and aspiration,” Agbimuddin said, referring to the burial on Friday evening of his slain followers.

The message seemed to be correcting the Sabah police report that 12 of Agbimuddin’s followers were killed in the clash with Malaysian policemen.

In the hands of Allah

There were also reports that among the dead on the side of Agbimuddin were the elderly owner of the house that the Sulu group seized after entering the village on Feb. 9.

Abraham Idjirani, spokesperson for the Sulu sultanate, told journalists that the Kirams had decided to put the fate of Agbimuddin and his remaining followers in the hands of Allah.

He said Agbimuddin’s group went to Sabah to compel a peaceful resolution of the sultanate’s claim to Sabah.

“This is our long-held aspiration, that Malaysia understand that Sabah is owned by the sultanate of Sulu,” Idjirani said.

“The sultan is not after an increase in rental because that will benefit only the Kiram family,” Idjirani said. “[T]heir father said Sabah is not for sale. It’s for the patrimony of the Filipino people.”

The remnants of Agbimuddin’s group were cornered in a smaller area after the 30-minute gun battle that also cost the lives of two Malaysian policemen and injured three others, according to news reports from Malaysia.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday told reporters that after talking to President Aquino on Friday night, he decided to give Agbimuddin’s group two choices: surrender or face the repercussions at the hands of Malaysian security forces.

Najib said the window for negotiations was closed, given the hostile stand taken by the group from Sulu.

“The Sulu [intruders] have to surrender or they will face the action of our security forces,” Najib said after paying his last respects to the two policemen killed by mortar fire during the clash with Agbimuddin’s group.

Malaysian Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar said Agbimuddin’s group must immediately lay down their arms and surrender or face “drastic action.”

“We have no other options but to take the necessary action to detain them,” Omar said.

Agbimuddin’s group was now “trapped” and faced no alternative but surrender, he said.

Presidential message

Malacañang did not say what understanding President Aquino and Najib reached, but said the President wanted Agbimuddin and his men to surrender to avoid further bloodshed.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda read Mr. Aquino’s statement addressed to Agbimuddin’s group at a hastily called news conference.

“To our citizens in Lahad Datu, from the very start our objective has been to avoid the loss of lives and the shedding of blood. However, you did not join us in this objective. Because of the path you have taken, what we have been trying to avoid has come to pass,” the President said.

“If you have grievances, the path you chose was wrong. The just, and indeed, the only correct thing for you to do is to surrender,” he said.

“To those who have influence and the capacity to reason with those in Lahad Datu, I ask you to convey this message: surrender now, without conditions,” he said.

Lacierda did not directly answer a question about the Philippine government pushing away blame if more lives were lost, but said: “The Philippine government has exerted all efforts for a peaceful resolution. We’ve done that from Day 1. We’ve said that we’ve sent emissaries. We have tried our best to deal with them. We have coordinated with Malaysian authorities. What should not have happened did happen yesterday. The best thing for them to do is surrender.”

Jamalul’s daughter, Princess Jacel Kiram, said the President’s call to surrender was “not acceptable.”

Jacel denied Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras’ statement that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima directly contacted the sultanate on Friday night.

She said it was someone claiming to represent De Lima who contacted the sultanate, demanding a “categorical statement” from the sultan ordering his followers to come home without conditions.

Jacel said government emissaries had contacted the family before and tried to impose terms on them and demanding that their followers withdraw from Sabah.

She said what her family wanted was for the government to intercede for them and arrange negotiations with the Malaysian government involving their proprietary claim to Sabah.

“We want negotiations, not dictation,” she said.

Rejecting Almendras’ claim that the government had done everything for a peaceful solution to the crisis, she said the standoff in Tanduao would continue until the sultanate and the Philippine and Malaysian governments agreed to sit down to talk about the Sabah claim.

Followers captured

Idjirani said Agbimuddin reported the capture of 10 members of his group by Malaysian police during the raid on Friday.

Idjirani said Agbimuddin admitted that he and his followers were caught off-guard.

“That will disprove [claims] that we fired the first shot, because we were caught by surprise,” Idjirani said, referring to the report by Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines Mohammad Zamri Mohammad Kassim on Friday that the Sulu group fired at Malaysian police, triggering a response that led to a gun battle.

Idjirani said the sultanate assumed that the captives, all men, were being maltreated in Malaysian police custody. The sultanate, he said, appealed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to intercede for the captives.

Of the remaining 224 followers remaining in Agbimuddin’s group, seven are women, Idjirani said.

Earlier reports said the group was armed with M16 and M14 rifles, M16 carbines, M203 grenade launchers and .45 cal. 1911 pistols, but Idjirani said most in the group carried bladed weapons like kris and barong.

Lockdown

All was reportedly quiet in Lahad Datu on Friday, as police ordered a lockdown.

Sabah Police Commissioner Hamza Taib said the authorities had the situation under control.

Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Eduardo Malaya said a Philippine humanitarian mission had arrived in Lahad Datu, although there were reports that the Malaysian authorities stopped the mission in Kota Kinabalu.

Communications Secretary Ramon Carandang said the government was talking to the Malaysian about maximum tolerance.

“We are still trying to find a way to prevent further bloodshed,” Carandang said. With reports from Nikko Dizon in Manila; Allan Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao; and The Star/Asia News Network

Originally posted: 4:46 pm | Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6B74ZEORPG4EJK7OMWXN7RKGY jojo

    dapat pulbusin na ng malaysian ang mga kiram na to . para matapos na to.. lilipas din ang issue na to pag napulbos mga kiram na to

    • 18C0501

      pulbusin kagaya ng ginawa nila sa mga AFP sa Mindanao.

    • Komen To

      You must be a makapili during Japanese time

  • Sane

    Our dear M’sian Prime Minister says that the Sulu gunmen lured police commandos into an ambush by waving a white flag. Najib calls your people cowards for doing so. What say you Filipinos?
    (BTW many malaysians like me don’t believe a word of the bullshit that comes out of najib’s mouth.)

    • Komen To

      We say we are smarter

  • Butzz

    PNoy is being insensitive if he is just concerned with saving lives when he wants the Sultan’s followers to surrender. The Sultan knows the risk of losing lives but because of what he is fighting for he is willing to take it and I know his followers know that after all these years of frustrations. In the same manner Ninoy took that path. Would he have listened? “Hwag ka umuwi, baka patayin ka”. Ninoy was after a higher calling in the same manner that the Sultan is responding to his.

    • Twister12

      That’s a load of crap. The Kiram’s did it not for the country but for themselves. The Sultan knew very well what he is doing, putting the government in hostage for his personal gains. He’s willing to sacrificed his women & children while he’s sitting & watching the carnage he orchestrated. Now if he’s really serious then ask his men to leave & he himself go in there (bring some guns & ammo too), & stake his claim & when he do that I’ll join the warmongers here to salute the man.

      • 18C0501

        Ito ang hinde naiintindihan ng maraming Pilipino.

      • Komen To

        Hahaha, asking the 77 yrs old Sultan to lead the fight is for the movies, and when he does it, all you can do is salute, you coward. Butzz has a very good point comparing Ninoy’s sacrifice for the Filipinos with that of Sultan Kiram

      • Twister12

        You’re much of a coward urging other people to fight your fight. If you have balls you should not be here barking but with them fighting & wasting your life for your beloved selfish Sultan LOL. Comparing that of Kiram’s to Ninoy’s sacrifice? Are you a retard or what. Your Sultan is fighting for his so called property not for the Filipinos. Even if by some miracle he’ll grow some balls & go there & fight & died, what does it mean with the Filipino people? Now absorb that with your child like reasoning if you can.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Q6UHKC43FYFDBCZ2T44ZKDPYA4 Cabal

    You dumb philipinoes are so ignorant and stupid. The Kirams officially declared independence of mindanao and other parts of southern philiphines on November 2011. Go use your simpleton brains and think, think, think why your own presidents and governments from the past to present do not recognize kirams as the sulu sultan.  

    • Komen To

      You Malaysians are the ones dumb, for bringing the war near your place. We recognize Sultan Kiram and their claim but wanted a peaceful solution. You started the fight with our brother Muslims, now you suffer

      • http://www.facebook.com/mutiara.hijau.779 Mutiara Hijau

        who are you to say like that? are you stay in malaysia?you dont know nothing about the situation here in malaysia ..no one can claim Sabah because Sabah is one of the Malaysian,we will fight if someone try to make trouble here

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/HAXORRMTHRA5V6G5QDYNIWBWTI Shila

        who are you to say like that huh?you think malaysia dumb?no.if you say that again,all the malaysian will fight you!!!

  • Komen To

    The best thing Malaysia can do is return the land to the rightful owners, the Sultan of Sulu. If they really want peace in the South, that is the only solution. Then the Muslim brothers will be at peace with its neighbors. Look at Indonesia, they do not claim what is not theirs so they live peacefully in that region

    • Niez Qiara

      This is not the best way by giving our state to the sultan sulu. He has already betrayed us by giving this land borneo to British hundred years ago. Besides we only will got miserable and more suffering because person from this quarter sultan sulu so savage and not humane. They like kill each other. Sabah people LOVE PEACE.

    • nazrul zainal

       Sulu people claim because they are poor in Phil..Phil gov never modernize them…pity tasaug…better send them to middle east like other pinoyy…

      • Fai

        you read history Nazrul. Northern Sabah is a real state owned by the sultan of Sulu.

  • JasonBieber

    Last time we checked these people are still fellow Filipino countrymen. Why is PNoy and his Administration not treating them as such? It even seems that PNoy is siding more with Malaysia. They have to do something about this soon…it has gone long enough. 

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6ODLDBBLVPVJCOODC6Y4CKJTVA lex

      Gamitin mo ang utak mo sa pag ko comment. Nag i encourage  nga ang pamahalaan ng Pinas na umuwi sina KIRAM ng maayos at ng mapag-usapan ng maayos din sa tamang proseso para walang mamamatay eh ANONG SINASABI MO? > Bakit kayong mga HATERS dito puro negatibo ang iniisip . Sa ngayon DEPLOMASYA ang pinaka tamang gawin ng gobyerno natin. Anu bang gusto ng mga haters, makigera agad ang PINAS? Kapag na neutralised na ang sitwasyon sa SABAH, then FILE a CLAIM in proper CHANNEL, mas CONCRETE ito at EFFECTIVE.

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

        TULUNGAN NINYO MGA KABABAYAN NATIN DI MAG HAHAIN NG DIPLOMATIC PROTEST ANG PINAS MAKAPILI PRESIDENTE MAS PINAHAHALAGAHAN PA NILA MALAYSIA TRAYDOR PARA TATAY NIYA HUDAS!

      • Taiko_Kauna

        tama, at pwede na rin gumawa ng mas malaking “back burner” ang kung sino man ang susunod kay Pnoy…

      • Fai

        ano naman malay mo sa katayuan ng Sulu, eh pakiramdam ko Ilocano ka.

      • JasonBieber

        Whether you say it in tagalog or english…it is still a bunch of spin talk filled with excuses.

        Let’s get down to the main points…PNoy ignored Kiram and his people, then he threatened these people when they have had enough of PNoy’s ignoring, then PNoy blamed ignoring Kiram on a lost letter, then now PNoy is blaming GMA.

        When will PNoy do some work and stop blaming and making excuses?

    • kanoy

       LET ME GUESS,,,,HUMMMM,,,,THIS GOVERNMENT DOES NOT SUPPORT VIGILANTE JUSTICE? THEY DO NOT SUPPORT CITIZENS TAKING THE LAW INTO ITS OWN HANDS? IT SUPPORTS THE WELFARE OF THE MANY OVER THE GAIN OF A FEW?
      IF SABAH WAS GIVEN TO THIS UNPROVEN SULTAN THIS VERY MINUTE WHAT DIFFERENCES…WHAT CHANGES,,,WHAT IMPROVEMENTS TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE WOULD THAT MAKE? HIGHER WAGE? NEW JOBS? BETTER SCHOOLS? LOWER TAXES? FASTER SERVICE? NEW SEWERS? ROADS? BRIDGES?
      NOTHING
      WHAT DIFFERENCE WOULD THAT MAKE TO THE FILTHY RICH ”SULTAN” & FAMILY? EVEN MORE FILTHY RICH

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

    MALAYSIA LAND GRABER!

    • kanoy

       NO LAND GRABBER PAYS RENT…DID AQUINO PAY THE FARMERS RENT ON THE HACIENDA? IS AQUINO MALAYSIAN?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/G6DW7UQELKBU6A2ZO54SIQUEUE jangan buta hati

    Malaysia did not take Sabah.Please do research of History ya everyone.Love from Brunei

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