DFA chief clarifies: We didn’t tag sultan followers terrorists


Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III: His followers are not terrorists, says Philippines foreign affairs secretary Albert del Rosario. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario clarified that he did not label as terrorists armed followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who are standing their ground in Sabah contrary to a Malaysian report Tuesday night.

In a statement, the DFA said Del Rosario, in meeting with Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in Kuala Lumpur, only concurred to call as “terroristic acts” reports that Malaysian police forces were mutilated in Semporna, where fighting between Kiram’s men and Malaysian forces earlier erupted.

Malaysian news outfits had quoted Aman as saying that Del Rosario agreed to call the Filipino fighters “terrorists” when the two met in before dawn Tuesday, just hours before Malaysia launched air and ground strikes to flush out Kiram’s followers bent at staying in the disputed territory.

Del Rosario returned to Manila late Tuesday afternoon from his brief visit to Kuala Lumpur, where he hoped “to walk that last mile to try to save lives in this unfortunate conflict.”

Quoting the account of Philippine Ambassador Eduardo Malaya who was present at meeting, the DFA said: “…[T]he report is out of context and the Secretary did not label the Filipino group as terrorist.”

“In Semporna, there were alleged acts of terrorism. As reported by the Malaysian Foreign Minister, after the police forces were lured into an ambush and killed, their bodies were brutally mutilated and desecrated. If indeed these atrocities were committed as reported to him, the Secretary and the Foreign Minister both agreed that these were, at the very least, terroristic acts,” the DFA statement read.

In a statement sent early Wednesday, the DFA said the Philippines is still pursuing efforts to prevent further deaths in Lahad Datu, where Kiram’s followers have been standing their ground for three weeks now.

Kiram’s group is asserting ownership of the land even as the Philippine government refused to discuss the dispute while the Sultan’s followers remain in Sabah.

The DFA has repeatedly said government has “not abandoned” the country’s claim for Sabah and that a study group has been assembled to look into the Philippine claim.

“The Philippine Government will continue to explore all possible channels in an effort to achieve the objective of minimizing the loss of life and bringing the matter to an expeditious conclusion,” said the DFA.

The foreign office explained that the Philippines had wanted to peacefully settle the standoff peacefully but did not get the Kiram group’s cooperation.

President Aquino, who turned stern on the Kirams on the second week of the standoff, “initially offered that no charges would be filed” against them if they cooperated. The situation, however, changed when the Kirams refused to budge.

“From the outset of this conflict, the Philippine Government has been pursuing options which could lead to a peaceful resolution where no lives would be lost… These options, which involve the peaceful withdrawal of the Kiram group from Lahad Datu in order to ensure that lives are not compromised, were relentlessly pursued on a 24/7 basis,” the DFA said.

“Unfortunately, some of these plans did not merit acceptance by all parties and those that did could not be implemented in time. The Philippine Government’s constructive efforts were overtaken by events that were beyond its control,” the foreign office added.

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  • Maryjane Angle

    P-noy pls hear your boses!!!

    • IbigMongSabihin

      he is hearing his malaysian bosses.

  • tausog sulu

    Sinungaling itong si  del rosario maka tikim ito ng sampal baka magising ito mga kababayan natin pinoy terrorist daw.. palibhasa   oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy del rosario umayos ng maka tikim  sampal bka sabihin mona…..tiro….. 

  • tausog sulu

    hinayupak pala Itong si del Rosaria sabi sa news sa Malasian tv news terrorist then sa pinas countrymen  bulls talaga itong tatang del  rosario


    MANILA: Malaysian security forces are now facing battle-tested, Malaysian-trained commanders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), who know Sabah like the palm of their hands.

    Hadji Acmad Bayam, former chief propagandist of the MNLF, revealed this yesterday to the Manila Bulletin, adding that these MNLF forces may have at their disposal a huge arsenal, which they hid deep in Sabah’s rugged terrain when they returned to the Philippines after their rigid training.

    Among the firearms are Belgian-made G1 and FAL, which the late Libya leader Colonel Moammar Gadaffi supplied through Malaysia.

    Bayam said he was confident the Malaysian authorities were not able to find the hidden MNLF firearms because they were kept very well by the MNLF commanders who stayed behind in Sabah.

    During that training, Malaysian military trainers even joked about the firearms at the MNLF training camp on Jampiras Island, off Sabah, as they turned over Gadaffi’s weapons’ supply.

    “We are not even sure if the firearms we are giving you will not be turned against,” the Malaysian trainers had said in a jest.
    “Well, speaking of self-fulfilling prophecy,” Bayam said, recalling the jokes of the Malaysian trainers.
    Malaysian Sponsored Terrorism

  • AllinLawisFair

    Ang daming armchair analysts at easy chair diplomats dito. 

    • IbigMongSabihin

      mas ok iyon kaysa sa foreign affair minister na magsasabi na terorista ang kababayan na nagpapakita ng bayag ng patriotism sa pag-angkin ng inagaw na sabah.
      ang taga-malacanang kasi ay meron lang bayag ng press releases para paikutin ang taong bayan.

  • IbigMongSabihin

    whom to believe? foreign minister of noynoy government or the foreign minister of malaysia.?
    this noynoy government has been spreading lies and never-ending blames and excuses.
    but i will believe them if they say that it was actullay GMA who said that the tausugs are terrorists.

  • mangTASYO

    p { margin-bottom: 0.08in; }

    FM Anifah and Sec Del Rosario, branded
    the Sultanate Royal Army as “terrorist”.

    Sec Lacierda, however, denied that DFA
    called the Royal Army as “terrorist”.

    And now our Ambassador in Malaysia is
    doin’ damage control by saying that Sec Del Rosario was quoted out of

    Tsk-tsk – The real problem is…when
    the LEADER sitting in maLAKANyang is “Confused”, then what else
    could be expected from the Cabinet Secretaries but crystal-clear

    Pnoy was so LUCKY to be elected as
    President out of sympathy from the grieving, mourning Filipinos.

    But he’s not lucky enough to be
    surrounded by goody-goody, buddy-buddy, LACKEY advisers on foreign


  • Olibo

    Del Rosario branded the Sultanate Army not terrorists but GUNMEN.

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