Thousands of Tausug sailing to Sabah to aid beleaguered comrades – MNLF exec

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ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Thousands of Tausug  from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have sailed to Sabah to reinforce members of the so-called royal army of the sultanate of Sulu who are fighting it out with Malaysian security forces, a Moro National Liberation Front official said Tuesday.

“We can no longer prevent our people. We are hurt and many of our people, even the non-combatants, are going to Sabah to help the sultanate,” Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the MNLF’s Islamic Council Committee, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

But Lt. Gen, Rey Ardo, chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command, said they have not monitored reports of reinforcements trying to enter Sabah.

“But we cannot avoid that some residents who have relatives in Malaysia would react to the situation,” he said.

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Acting Gov. Mujib Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao also denied receiving reports about reinforcements for the “Royal Army.”

Mudjahab said at least 10,000 Tausug  from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Zamboanga on Monday night started to reinforce the followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III now holed up in a coastal village in Sabah via the Philippines’ so-called “southern backdoor,” a route regular traders are familiar with.

He said the reinforcements “sailed in small numbers so they can easily penetrate Sabah unnoticed.”

It is about pride and honor, and our people are ready to sacrifice.’

Habib Hashim Mudjahab, chair of the MNLF’s Islamic Council Committee

“The naval blockade is of no use; our military should have known that. We did that before at the height of Marcos regime. We can easily go to Sabah and blend with the people there,” he added. He was referring to a naval blockade thrown up by the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard to ensure armed sympathizers do not joined the beleaguered men in Sabah as reinforcements.

Days ago, Mudjahab said, he advised several MNLF commanders against going to Sabah to help a group of about 200 men who landed in a coastal village in Lahad Datu on Feb. 9 to assert the sultanate’s claim to Sabah. They engaged Malaysian authorities in a standoff that has resulted in a series of skirmishes since last Friday. At least 27 people, including eight Malaysians have been reported killed in the violence. The Malaysian Air Force is reported to have dropped bombs Tuesday on the Filipinos’ suspected lair.

“I told them to hold on to their ranks and avoid getting emotionally affected with the situation. But our President Noynoy (President Benigno Aquino III) kept issuing statements favoring the Malaysians, which made our people agitated. The President must realize that for the Tausugs, being pushed to the wall, fighting for a cause, is dying with victory,” he said.

He said with three old heirs of the Sultanate, “who have no history of rebellion, living quietly on their own, now leading the cause in Sabah, is something great for the Tausugs.”

Malaysian troops moving in to flush out members of the Sulu Sultanate’s ‘royal army’ from a remote village in Lahad Datu, Sabah. The Star/Bernama-Asia News Network

“It is about pride and honor, and our people are ready to sacrifice,” Mudjahab said.

Ajil Jaffar, 50, an oil palm plantation worker in Kota Kinabalu and who was among those repatriated to the country on Sunday, said he wanted to return to Sabah.

“I want to help them. It’s our honor to be with the sultan so that this deportation and abuses will stop,” he said.

A retired educator in Tawi-Tawi, who asked not to be identified by name, said the sultanate of Sulu represents an extension of their rich heritage. “They are the first Filipinos. The sultanate of Sulu was already there even before Philippines existed,” he said.

Amirah Lidasan of the nongovernmental group Suara Bangsamoro said the status of the sultanate of Sulu was unfinished business that “keeps on nagging us.”

“We have a bloody history of Moro people getting killed while defending the homeland. It also speaks of the Philippine government’s giving in to the interest of foreigners instead of its citizens,” Lidasan said.

Meanwhile, Hataman said at least 70 Filipinos arrived in Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi yesterday (Tuesday) to escape being caught in the crossfire in Sabah.

“They boarded a commercial vessel and they arrived this morning,” Hataman said.

Hataman has been meeting for what he called “security and social preparations” with the military and local government officials since Tuesday morning.

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  • joshua kings

    mga tausug, wag kayong paloloko at pa-uuto sa mga liders ninyo.
    tingnan ninyo: kayo ang nagbubuwis ng buhay pero sila nasa manila, malayung-malayo sa gyera ninyo…safe sila sa kanilang airconditioned palaces and eat steaks and other imported luxurious stuff.

  • MYRNA_T

    JOSE

    WELL-NOTED.

    THANKS FOR BEING CIVIL.

    MYRNA_T, SAN FRANCISCO, CA

  • destierro

    You’re a fair-minded Filipino? Baka hare-brained? 
    Fact: Nur Misuari became governor of ARMM.  He had control and was directly responsible for billions of funds for his 6 year term

    Fact: He had the chance to walk his talk. He failed to do anything for the Moros in those years.  They remained poor despite the funds entrusted to him. Yet now he is still complaining.

    Fact: Misuari preferred to go to conferences instead of governing ARMM. He liked to travel with a large entourage (50 plus bodyguards) and liked to stay in expensive hotels while the poor Moros remained poor. He behaved like a sultan instead of being a public servant.  That is textbook graft and corruption.  If you’re not satisfied, google “Misuari” and “Corruption”.

    Fact: Misuari was ousted as MNLF chairman by his OWN men.  They declared him honorary chairman instead.  He was that incompetent. MILF was formed by MNLF men disgusted with Misuari.  NOT ONLY IS HE CORRUPT, He is INCOMPETENT.

    Fact: Misuari was prohibited from serving another term as governor of MNLF. He then called for rebellion.  100 plus people were killed in Zamboanga because of that.  Your brave leader fled to Malaysia like a coward that he is.  He was humiliatingly deported.  He was imprisoned.

    Now: Misuari is prattling in his media interviews about how MNLF fighters went with Kiram’s men to Sabah on their own will.  However, he did not prevent them from doing so. He threatened Malaysia of “bigger security problems” if harm befalls his fighters.  He also warned Pres. Aquino against arresting the Sultan claimant Kiram of “bigger security problems”.  He also wants to be the “mediator” for the issue that he could easily have prevented if he wanted to or if he is being truthful in his intentions.  After threatening both governments, he wants to be the “peacemaker”. NO ONE, except you maybe, listens to him.  Fair-minded Filipinos already have reason to doubt his sanity. Misuari and Kiram III are betraying their followers and the Filipino people as a whole. I BLAME MISUARI for this MESS.

    YOU: You are obviously a follower of the delusional Misuari and Kiram.  They both like to resort to THREATS and VIOLENCE instead of trying to prove their WEAK arguments and claims. This is $tupid reasoning behind Kiram’s action of sending his armed followers to DIE in SABAH.

    In case you didn’t know, typing in ALL CAPS does not make you brave nor believable. It makes you juvenile. It is also obvious that you have no idea whatsoever what a blog is.  This is NOT a blog.

    Hindi ako takot sa MNLF mo. I used to admire their tenacity and their noble cause but lost any respect when I figured they became the private army of Misuari and other warlords.  If they are that righteous, they should have stopped Abu Sayyaf or the Ampatuans from oppressing the people. Hindi rin ako B0B0 tulad mo. Your vocabulary is clearly limited by your unused brain. You cannot even type a single , coherent sentence.

     There’s a way to show you really believe the righteousness of Misuari and Kiram’s path: 

    PLEASE go to Sabah.  Fight their battles.  Take all Misuari and Kiram III supporters with you.  I hope Malaysia appreciates the target practice.   

    Para naman tumahimik na ang Pilipinas at tumaas ang general average ng I.Q. ng mga Filipinos.

    • jamesbond

       so you mean to say the general average of filipino iq tatas pag pumunta ng sabah ang iilang tao?you have a pea brain dude.bobo ka lalo!

      • destierro

        If you, alone, go to Sabah, the general average IQ of the Filipinos in the Philippines will go up. If you don’t get it, you may never will.

        Thank you for not posting in ALL CAPS anymore.

        Btw, stop using “dude” if you don’t want to sound pretentious. Hindi bagay.

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

    dapat 50 thausand para maubus ang mga malaysian na mag nanakaw ng lupa!

  • Lord Barrington

    They have a big surprise in their future. I was just in Borneo Malaysia, and they are more than ready and willing to blow them away. It is an invasion, and the Filipinos will pay a big price. Malacanang has nothing has nothing to do with it. They are stupid fools and in violation of international laws. Kill them, Benigno, kill them, before they start something out-of-control. Now you know the ‘rest of the story’

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