MANILA, Philippines—Another sultan of Sulu has come forward, and his representatives say he is the real heir to the throne of Sulu.
Representatives of Datu Abinasser Sultan Badaruddin D. Mohammad Bataraza claimed on Friday that he was the real sultan of Sulu, as he was a descendant of the first wife of Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Alam.
Jamalul Alam was the sultan who signed the 1878 agreement to lease Sabah to the British North Borneo Company.
According to documents furnished the Inquirer, Badaruddin’s representatives have been trying to get President Aquino to recognize him as the real sultan of Sulu since July 25, 2012.
On Oct. 24, 2012, Badaruddin’s representatives wrote United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking for assistance in getting him recognized as the real sultan of Sulu.
Arturo Sampana, a former Inquirer correspondent and who identified himself as the spokesperson for the 74-year-old Badaruddin, said that the real sultan was in hiding but would come out soon to speak about his claim to the sultanate.
According to Sampana, Badaruddin is the fourth of the five children of Puteri Aishah Almarhum and Datu Mohammad Bataraza. His mother Aishah was the daughter of Puteri Sharifah Zainab, or Princess Indok, the wife of the Sultan of Sulu Badaruddin II who reigned from 1881 to 1884.
He said Badaruddin II was the successor to Sultan Jamalul Alam. When he died, allegedly of poisoning, his family, including Aishah, went into hiding.
Jamalul Kiram II, whose mother was the second wife of Jamalul Alam, succeeded Badaruddin II.
Sampana said Jamalul Kiram III, who claims he is the sultan of Sulu and whose followers are being chased by Malaysian security forces in the bushes of Sabah, was a descendant of the second wife of Jamalul Alam.
“Tartib is a traditional sultanate succession followed by Muslim Tausug generation (Sulu sultanate lineage) where the rightful heir to the sultan’s throne comes from the first wife of the reigning sultan,” Sampana said.
He said Badaruddin’s ancestry could be determined by the official Tarsila, or family tree.
Sampana said the representatives sent copies of their letters to the President, to the UN secretary general and to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima earlier this week.
Badaruddin is coming out because of the revival of the Philippine claim to Sabah, Sampana said.
Badaruddin and his family lived in Sabah during the 1970s and returned to the country in 2009, but remained in hiding for their security, Sampana said.
He said Badaruddin was the only surviving heir to the throne, as elder brother Ayub Bataraza died three years ago.
Sampana showed the Inquirer a certified original copy of the congressional discussion of the Sabah claim on April 28, 1950, that led to the issuance of Joint Resolution No. 42 expressing the sense of the country that North Borneo belongs to the heirs of the sultan of Sulu and to the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines.
The record quoted Samar Rep. Agripino Escareal as explaining that the High Court of North Borneo recognized the heirs of the Sulu sultan in a suit they had filed.
The heirs were Princess Dayang-Dayang, Princess Tarhata Kiram, Princess Ines Kiram and “a group of other Kirams and some others.”
When asked by his colleagues who the other Kirams were, Escareal said, “There is another Kiram in Palawan.”
Sampana said Escareal was referring to Abinasser Badaruddin, who was a young man at the time and living in Palawan.
In their letter to President Aquino, Sampana and Hajah Rohilmina Kamsa (who represented Abinasser as attorneys in fact) sought presidential assistance “for the fulfillment of the real sultan’s quest for official recognition by concerned entities.”
“They are now in hiding, after they left Sabah, lest Datu Abinasser will be liquidated by those who want him dead, especially entities protecting the unrecognized (by Brunei, England and the US) sultan(s) now reigning in the Philippines so that he will not be able to claim the Sulu throne,” the representatives said.
They said they would present pertinent documents and artifacts, including the “golden seal, crown, belt and coins kept by the sultan’s family.”
In their letter to Ban, they asked for help from the United Nations, which supervises the International Court of Justice, in seeking official recognition for Badaruddin.