Fighting in Sabah rages

5 more Malaysians, 2 Filipinos killed


Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III and his daughter, Princess Jacel Kiram, blame the fresh violence in Sabah on the government’s refusal to talk to them about their claim to the Malaysian territory. RICHARD REYES

Supporters of the sultan of Sulu struck back on Saturday night, killing five Malaysian policemen and seizing four local government officials in an attack that indicated an escalation of violence to other parts of Sabah after the killing of 12 of the sultan’s followers in a clash with Malaysian security forces in Lahad Datu on Friday.

Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the sultanate of Sulu, said an Islamic religious leader and his four sons were killed in the fighting in the seaside village of Simunul in Semporna town, 300 kilometers from Tanduao village in Lahad Datu, the site of a 3-week-old standoff between Malaysian security forces and a group of followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.

Idjirani said two “highest” military officials, one police officer, and one “highest civilian” officer were being held by Jamalul’s supporters affiliated with Alianapia Kiram, a brother of the sultan.

Reports coming from Malaysia said two supporters of the Sulu sultan were killed in the shootout with policemen.

Idjirani said the group of sultanate followers led by Agbimuddin Kiram, another brother of Jamalul, had “occupied and controlled” Semporna, which is populated by Filipinos from Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan and the Zamboanga peninsula.

Alim Hashim Mudjahab, chairman of the Islamic Council Committee of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), told the Inquirer in Zamboanga City that supporters of the sultan attacked a police station in Semporna on Saturday night.

“They freed more than a hundred Filipino Muslims who were arrested on Friday and they even captured the Malaysian police chief and his colleagues,” Mudjahab said.

“We are worried because it seems that these reports are not important to the Philippine government,” he said.

In Tawau, Mudjahab said, followers of the sultan attacked a convoy of Malaysian military trucks, “hurling dynamite commonly used for fishing.”

“As we are talking now (11 a.m. Sunday), tension is spreading as far as Sandakan and there are reports that some Tausug residing in Kota Kinabalu are ready to fight the Malaysian authorities,” he said.

Mudjahab said he received the information from “MNLF supporters in those areas.”

But Lt. Gen. Rey Ardo, chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said he had not received information about an escalation of Friday’s violence in Lahad Datu to other parts of Sabah.

Police raid

Idjirani said the violence spread to Semporna when Malaysian policemen pretending to round up undocumented Filipinos stormed Simunul village in search of relatives of the sultan.

He said the policemen shot one Imam Maas and his four sons and wounded one Imam Jul when they learned that they were taking care of the sultan’s relatives in the area, Alianapia and Amir Bahar.

The killings angered the villagers, who attacked the authorities and seized four Malaysian officials.

Idjirani said the sultanate of Sulu blamed the fresh violence on the Malaysian government, which, like the Philippine government, refused to deal with the Kirams on their claim to Sabah.

“This escalation (of the violence) is the result of the hardline policy of the Federation of Malaysia of not [sitting down to] discuss the standoff in Lahad Datu [for] a peaceful resolution of this issue, so that, like Malacañang, the sultanate of Sulu is washing its hands [of] this conflict now escalating in Sabah,” Idjirani told a news conference at the sultan’s home in Taguig City.

He said Jamalul, who learned that 10 of his followers were captured during the clash in Tanduao only on Saturday morning, asked his supporters in Semporna to take care and feed the Malaysian officials they had seized.

Jamalul did not call for the release of the Malaysian officials, as they could be used as witnesses to the “atrocities” committed by the Malaysian government, Idjirani said.

He said the sultan’s supporters in Semporna could not be blamed for their action because it was the Malaysian police who raided the town.

“These are unorganized efforts of the people, who can no longer stand the actions that the Malaysian government has been taking against them since 1982,” Idjirani said.

Jamalul’s daughter, Princess Jacel Kiram, said the people of Semporna would decide whether the four Malaysian officials should be released.

She said the people were not violent. If they were, they would have killed the four officials, she said.

Idjirani said people from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the Zamboanga peninsula were departing for Sabah to help Agbimuddin’s group.

He said he did not know for sure whether those people, who were going to Sabah without consulting the sultan, were armed. It is possible, however, that they are armed, he said.

Malaysian story

Jacel said her father was calling on his supporters to stay calm. The sultan, she said, was “doing everything he could” to solve the Sabah crisis peacefully.

Reports coming from Malaysia indicated that it was the sultan’s supporters who started the violence in Semporna.

Malaysian Inspector General of Police Ismail Omar said five policemen were killed when they were ambushed at a village on stilts in Semporna late Saturday.

Ismail said a police team had entered Simunul village in Semporna in a hunt for a group of gunmen when they were fired upon.

He said two of the gunmen were killed in the shootout with the police team.

Police have encircled the village to track down the remaining gunmen, Ismail said.

He said the security forces were on the hunt for 10 men, three of whom were armed and seen wearing military fatigues at two villages in the east-coast district of Kunak at about 10 p.m. on Saturday.

Ismail said police were trying to establish whether the Semporan and Kunak incidents were related to the Tanduao standoff that turned violent on Friday.

He said police arrested three men who were trying to slip through a security cordon around Tanduao late Saturday.

The three, who were armed with knives, were detained for questioning, Ismail said.

More security forces arrived in Semporna on Sunday, leading to evacuations of residents for fear of more fighting.

Filipinos were among the people leaving the town, reports coming from Malaysia said.

Radio reports from Sabah said a Filipino man armed with an M-16 rifle was beaten to death by residents of a village near Semporna Sunday morning.

The reports quoted villagers as saying the man was a follower of the sultan of Sulu.

The Semporna police chief, Mohamad Firdaus Francis Abdullah, had no comment about the incident.


Acting Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) said he was surprised when told about reports of fighting in Sabah.

“What? Where did those [reports] [come] from?” Hataman said when contacted for comment by the Inquirer.

Al Tillah, policy adviser to the sultanate of Sulu, said President Aquino had created a team to handle the Sabah crisis.

He said the team was composed of Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista, Ardo and Hataman.

“The Sabah issue is not a military issue,” Tillah said. “It’s [a] political issue that requires diplomatic action.”—With reports from Julie S. Alipala and Alan A. Nawal, Inquirer Mindanao; and The Star/Asia News Network

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  • 100% freedom of navigation

    Kung sumuporta si Pnoy kay sultan Kiram mangangahulugan yun na sumuporta siya sa grupo ng mga taong armado. Giyera ang itatapat sa atin ng Malaysia kapag nagkagayon at tayo ang lalalabas na nagumpisa. Hindi na ako big fan ng Pangulo ngayon dahil sa ginawa niyang aksyon sa Tubatha pero tama ang aksyon niya ngayon dito.

    • Toadyfroggy

      Do you think malaysia will wage war against us ng ganun ganun lang???? nations know the consequences of making a war

  • AntiFakeOwner

    Let give Sabah its righful and legal owner. Renters must leave now.

    • nakawan

      I agree. Who’s the rightful owner?

      • nazrul zainal

        righful owner not sulu or Phil…they always dream like a baby..

    • observer1356

       anong “Let give Sabah its rightful and legal owner”?

      1- sino ang magbibigay? tanungin at kausapin mo ang mga Sabahan.. at, hala, sige — ibigay mo hwag kang mangdamay

      2- sino ang rightful and legal owner? tanungin at kausapin mo ang mga Sabahan

  • nakawan

    Akala ko ba ang Sabah claim lang ng Sultan ng Sulu? Diba inamin nya nga na hindi ito official military campaign ng Pinas, at sa Sulu “royal army” lang?

    So why is this guy blaming the Phil. government for failing to fix things? Diba ang Sulu army ang pumunta sa Sabah? Diba dapat away to ng Sultan ng Sulu at ang Republika ng Malaysia?

    • Edgardo Mendoza

      wag ka na mag palusot pilipino sila dapat tulungan! para kang si abnoy makapili hudas!

      • kumilos_tayo

         Edgardo Mendoza mas abnoy ka!! Pinakiusapan na sila pero matigas ang ulo.. Mali ang ginawa nila hindi nadadaansa dahas yan eh kung sinuportahan ng gov’t yan eh di gera yan ng pinas at malaysia sinong mag susuffer buong bansa..

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        mali ang ginawa nila kasi nuon 2010 pa hindi man lang siya pinapakingan ni ABNOY…nagliham pa nga pero nawala naman…so, sino ang sisisihin???walang iba kundi si abnoy…

      • kumilos_tayo

         Oo tama ka hindi napakingan sila ng 2010 pero meron mas mahalaga ayusin sa bansa kaysa yan.. May mga priority mas maganda mauna ung mga corruption kasi dun mag start ang yaman ng bansa hindi gera…

      • Toadyfroggy

        bkit giyera agad nasa isip kung pag.uusapan ang claim sa sabah??? 
        bkit d ba pweding pagsabayin ung pagresolva ng problema sa pilipinas??Ang daming tao sa gobyerno, we have resources bakit d gamitin

      • kumilos_tayo

         Ang problema gusto nila makuha agad hindi natin alam kung anong reason pwedeng may nasa likod nila tulad ni NUR…

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        ganun ba??anong mahalaga???magpara dota kasama si josh???mangmpanya naman ngaun sa team penoy???yan ba ang mahalaga???

      • kumilos_tayo

        yang sinasabihan mong abnoy ay maganda ang tingin sa kanya ng mga leader ng ibang bansa at nagpapganda ng economy ntin. Hirap kasi sa inyo hindi kayo OFW kaya hindi nyo ramdam ang hirap ng discrimination…. Ngayon nga lang mataas ang tingin sa atin ng ibang bansa eh..

      • Operation Merdeka

        Sira ka pala eh. di mo ba naisip na mastataas ang tingin satin ng mga dayuhan pag nabawi natin ang sabah…

      • kumilos_tayo

         Operation Merdeka Mas SIRA maclaim natin dahilsa madugong paraan gaganda tingin ng dayuhan sa atin eh TANGA KA anong maganda sa madugong paraan?

      • poltergeist_fuhrer

        so what….

      • Ernesto

        pwede bro tulungan natin ikaw ang manguna,di na naman goverment army yan ang royal army,may nag instigate lang dyan ,ginamit lang ang mga KIRAM kasi lapit  na election para masira si pinoy.

  • Nodin Zenedin

    the sultan is mere as a ruler.. they don’t own the land.. sabah belong to sabahan

    • Rovingmoron

      Nonsense. Better shut up. You don’t know anything.

      • Rena_Yvonea

        IT”S YOU WHO DON”T KNOW ANYTHING! the people who are living in SABAH have their own RIGHTS to choose who’s their leader. SULU and PHILLIPINES BACK OFF! SABAHANS DOESN’T WANT YOU TO REIGN OUR LAND! Sabah belongs to SABAHAN and MALAYSIANS!

      • Andres Bonifacio

        If Sabah belongs to malaysia why would your govt pay an annual rent to the Kirams? Isn’t it a stupid thing to do on the part of the malaysian govt to pay rent to the Kirams if they really owned Sabah?

      • Hanif Hizam

        hahahahahahaha USD1300 is a rent to a thousands of acres of Sabah.. stupid. it’s not rent. it’s a souvenir gift as a sign of respect. you married a daughter of someone, in return you pay your in-laws bill. it’s not rent. it’s a gift

    • kuffa

      Nop…Sabahan just happen to live in Sabah — Foreign rulers are magicians/illusionist who made Sabah dissappear in front of the worldwide audience, the Philippines was in the front row…….but 50 years later it looks like the Tausogs found it….but our government still can’t believe it.

      You see you still living in that illusion.

  • carlorocci

    Why the actors in this Sabah standoff blaming each other? Si Penoy sinisisi yun dating mandarambong sa Malakanyang. Natatawa ako hihihihi…..

    Nagsisihan pa ehh….

    • kumilos_tayo

       SHUT UP… hindi si Pnoy ang sisihin dyan… Dapat nga ikaw ang isang sisihin dyan kasi di ka nag iisip… Marami nang nagawa ysi Pnoy para sa bansa ayaw mo lang tanggapin kasi galit ka…

      • carlorocci

        You shut your mouth with your small dick…It is unbecoming for a president to blame others, for he has the full authority to correct the situation, without any hard evidence. It is better to sue in court the perpetrators of this mess than to cry in front of TV.

      • kumilos_tayo

        Katulad mo fix ang atuk mo na galit ka susunod ka ba sa isang taong galit ka kahit tama yung sinabi nya sayo di ba hinda lalo kang sasalungat sa sinabi nya ganon ang ginawa ng KIRAM.. Mas inisip ni Pnoy ang nakakarami eh pano kung sumang ayon si Pnoy sa ginawa nila at magkagera sa bansa natin sinong kawawa buong bansa dahil lang sa greedy ng iilan katulad ni NUR at MNLF natatakot kasi siya na pag naging ok na ang gov’t at MILF wala na sayang power…

      • Toadyfroggy

        Anu ba ngawa nya??? Pinkakulong si GMA ng dating administration….
        Ibinunyag ang kabulukan ng nakaraang administration…
        Isisi sa nakaraang administration ang mga problema ng kasalukuyan..

        Puro nakaraang administration ang ginagawa nyan eh….

      • kumilos_tayo

         Pakekoy totoo lahat yan dating admin ang pakulo nyan.. Lalo tayong nag hirap dahil sa dating admin ngayon plang tayo nabangon ramdam namin dito sa llabas ng bansa kasi naging mataas ang tingin sa amin ngayon kasi maganda ang pamamalakad ni Pnoy di tulad dati sa panahon ni GMA ang tingin sa amin mababa..

  • al sandakam

    I am a tausug but a proudly Malaysian. i can assure you 9 out of 10 tausug who live peacefully in sabah (Malaysia) will give all their lives to protect Sabah from Sulu claim (even beat them to death). Sabah for Sabahan. Why must we choose Kiram over Malaysia??? Only Sabahan can decide that. Not Kiram Not Filipino. Not Tausug in Philippines. Without support fom locals, Kiram is just someone else. King is just a name without full crediantial from rakyat.not just from filipino, but from Sabahan, from Tausug in sabah.

    • emajega

      so die as malaysian.

    • edm365f31

      i think you are not gving up anything but gaining Filipino tausugs and have a shared territory that filipino and maaysian can call their own.

    • Toadyfroggy

      ..I don’t care about kiram being accepted as the king/sultanate of sabah or whatever… What important is the Philippine sovereignty over sabah territory   

    • rouelcalzita

      Let them struggle and set them free for greedy of money and power.

  • emajega

    dati kinakain ko lang ang saba, ngayon dapat na pala syang ipagtanggol.

  • observer1356

    dakdak lang ng dakdak ang karamihan dito, at parang ang pinapalabas ay kasalanan pa ng pangulo ang kakulangan sa pag-iisip ng mga namumuno sa sultanate ng sulu…

    sa mga gustong makipag-gyera sa malaysia dahil sa kakitiran ng pag-iisip ng mga namuno doon, aba, mag-sign-up kayo at sumama kayo doon!  huwag nyong idamay ang may mga matitinong pag-iisip…

    di nyo ba napag-isip-isip na ginagawang hostage ang buong pilipinas, dahil sa ginawang ito ng sultanate of sulu?  Oo nga’t Pilipino, pero sino ang nakakarami at bakit parang na-blackmail ang gobyerno at mga mamamayang ng buong Pilipinas dahil sa kagagawan ng iilang tao lamang – hari man, sultan o ano pa man…

    yan ay pwedeng pa rin pag-usapan, pero hindi sa ganitong paraan.. na para bang sinasabi na “kung hindi ka makikipag-usap sa akin, magpapakamatay ako”? Hello?

    • kumilos_tayo

       100 % agree

    • Andres Bonifacio

      Sa pangyayaring ito, tama man o mali, nakita natin ang ka.istupidohan ng mga namumuno sa ating bansa. Saan ka ba nakita ng pangulo na merong namumuong krisis puro pangangampanya ang inaatupag? Para h’wag lang mabatikos kng sino-sino ang sinisisi.

      • kumilos_tayo

         Wag mo nga gamitin yang andres bonifacio username na yan kasi hindi makitid ang utak ni andres bonifacio ikaw makitid ang utak…

      • rouelcalzita

        Natumbok mo pre…

      • observer1356

        pangangampanya? eh,isinabay ba naman ng mga kulang-kulang ang isip na lusubin ang sabah para ma-distract ang progress ng pilipinas, ano ba ang tingin mo dito, hindi ba pag-sabotahe sa economic recovery ng Pilipinas ang diversionary tactics ng mga may pakana ng katangahang ito?

        dyan mo makita kung paano paghati-hatiin ng Pangulo ang panahon nya sa mga dapat nyang gampanan kahit pa may krisis… o di ba? LOL

        at, bakit, sino ba ang iniisip mo na dapat sisihin? baka pareho din kayo ni Misuari na ang sinisisi ay ang pamahalaan sa kaistupidohan ng namumuno ng sultanate (hindi ng bansa)… ang layo ng tingin mo, Andy.. kaya ka niyari ni Agui eh…

    • Toadyfroggy

      Well, sinu pa may kasalanan?? Kung sa umpisa pa lang is he backed up the claim.. eh d sana wlang buhay ung nawawala…. ang makitid ang utak dto is ikaw at ang pangulo, kasama ng mga tagasulsul nya…. If he support the claim, malaysia will not dare to initiate an attack…. of course they don’t want to wage war..

      • rouelcalzita

        My friend, you are hardheaded. For your information so many administration passed by, they tackled it but to no avail.
        Only struggle between two opposing groups can set them free for greedy for money and power.

      • observer1356

        show me the claim, when was this made? was it made during this presidency? .. why don’t you go back to your history up to the time of Ferdinand Marcos? maybe you’ll see what happened then… so, kaninong kasalanan? Kasalanan ito ng mga makikitid ang isip katulad mo at ng sultan na kinikilala mo… fight your lost cause, don’t drag us into your foolishness and stup!d!ty

  • Patikotiko

    Gutom na sultan kya ipinaglalaban ng patayan ang saging. Bakit di nya daanin sa mabuting usapan para nmn hindi maapektuhan ang libo-libong muslim at pilipino na legal at illegal sa Sabah. Lahat ng papatayin ng Malaysian forces ay sa atin isisisi dahil tayo ang pumasok at nagdala ng armas para manggulo.  Sa totoo lang, gusto nmn yan ng Malaysia dahil mapapalabas nila sa mundo na tayo ang trouble maker at ipinagtatanggol lang nila ang kapakanan ng kanilang mamamayan. Nasulsulan ang Kiram ng mga oportunistang gustong guluhin ang bansa….

  • James McTangay

    Naloko na… nasaan yong pinagyayabang ngayon na 10,000 fighters ng MNLF. Ibinandera pa naman ng tsimosong Tulfo.

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