Another Sulu fighter shot dead


DAVAO CITY—Another Sulu fighter was shot dead by Malaysian security forces on Saturday, bringing to 53 the number of Filipinos killed in the skirmishes to end a monthlong incursion into Sabah by armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.

The death of the Filipino fighter raised to 61 the total number of people killed since a standoff between Malaysian security forces and Jamalul’s followers erupted into violence on March 1.

Eight Malaysian policemen were killed in gun battles with the Sulu group, which landed in Sabah on Feb. 9 to stake the Sulu sultanate’s ancestral claim to the eastern Malaysian state.

Speaking over a Sarawak radio station, Malaysian police chief Ismail Omar said the Filipino died in a shootout at about 8 a.m. as Malaysian security forces continued to advance deeper into Tanjung Batu in Tawau where some of Jamalul’s followers were believed holed up.

Ismail said the Filipino was trying to slip through a security cordon in Tanjung Batu when spotted by policemen.

The security forces early Saturday continued firing artillery rounds toward an area in Lahad Datu town where other followers of the Sulu sultan were believed moving about in pairs or small units.

“We believed they were trying to avoid security forces by moving between [Tanduao and Tanjung Batu],” Ismail said.

A reporter for the Sarawak radio station said explosions were heard as helicopters took to the air, making sweeps over the area of operations until noon.

Malaysian military chief Zulkifeli Zin said the Sulu fighters led by Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Jamalul, managed to slip from Tanduao village to Tanjung Batu due to the uneven and swampy terrain.

Zulkifeli said the security forces were conducting mopping up operations in Tanduao.

Zulkifeli said the air strikes and artillery attacks would continue, as there were no signs that the “Sulu terrorists” wanted to surrender.

“This operation will continue until we are sure all areas have been cleared of threats. It may appear to be slow but we have been making good progress,” he said.

Instead of surrendering, Agbimuddin’s group was rallying local supporters to stand up to Malaysian security forces, Zulkifeli said.

He said this was the reason why Malaysian police arrested 79 people on Friday.

Those who were arrested remained detained in various jails in Sabah, Zulkifeli said.

The 79—Tausug and Orang Suluk men and women—were arrested in a police roundup in several areas outside the battle zone.

They were suspected of having links to the intrusion into Sabah by Agbimuddin’s group.

Ismail said the fate of Agbimuddin remained unknown.

“There are still bodies in the area that we have not identified,” he said.

Jamalul declared a unilateral ceasefire and offered an exchange of prisoners on Thursday following a call from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday for an end to the violence in Sabah.

But Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak rejected Jamalul’s ceasefire and prisoner swap offer and demanded that Agbimuddin and his men lay down their arms or they would be hunted down and killed.

Malacañang has refused to ask Malaysia to reconsider its rejection of Jamalul’s proposal and instead presses an investigation to discover the people behind what it calls “conspiracy” to scuttle peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which are nearing an end with the expected signing of a final peace agreement this year.

What conspiracy?

But Princess Jacel Kiram, Jamalul’s daughter, on Saturday said there was no conspiracy in her family’s decision to reclaim Sabah from Malaysia.

Jacel criticized the administration of President Aquino for pursuing the conspiracy angle to discredit the sultanate of Sulu.

“The conspiracy theory is an insult to the Filipino people, and to the sultanate of Sulu,” Jacel told a news conference.

If there is a conspiracy, it is between Mr. Aquino’s administration and the government of Najib, Jacel said.

She said the conspiracy theory was intended to divert the public’s attention from Malacañang’s “mishandling” of the Sabah crisis.

The princess also accused Malacañang of acting as a “spokesperson against the interest of our own people” to avoid losing the goodwill of Malaysia, the facilitator of the peace talks with the MILF.

“Question: How can P-Noy (the President’s nickname) allow the Filipinos in Sabah to be the sacrificial lambs in order to protect the political ambition of (Najib) and at the same time prop up (his) declining credibility in crisis management?” Jacel asked.

Saycon subpoenaed

Abraham Idjirani, a spokesperson for the Sulu sultanate, said the National Bureau of Investigation, had sent a subpoena to Pastor Saycon, a policy adviser to Jamalul, for questioning about the alleged conspiracy.

Idjirani said Saycon would appear at NBI headquarters on Tuesday to answer all questions. With reports from Nikko Dizon, AFP and The Star/Asia News Network

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  • misuari playboy

    This is disturbing… 

    by William M. Esposo (The Philippine Star,10 Mac 2013):You have to hand it to the Sultanate of Sulu for its masterful utilization of propaganda methods. Their unilateral declaration of a ceasefire, timed after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon called for a cessation of hostilities in Sabah, was a face saving devise to avert the humiliation of defeat by the vastly superior Malaysian armed forces.The casualties were rising in the Sultanate’s side and if a reliable source is to be believed — they’re running low on supplies in Sabah. Last Monday, March 4, my informer in the Sultan Jamalul Kiram camp told me that by Friday, March 7, the so-called Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu could run out of bullets. The so-called unilateral ceasefire called last Thursday, March 7, by the Kirams coincides with this development.By calling for a unilateral ceasefire, the Sultanate hopes to avoid humiliating defeat and if Malaysia bites — they’ll be elevated to the status of an equal, instead of criminals who invaded and terrorized a territory that had voted in 1963 to remain with Malaysia. No way would Malaysia bite at that declaration of a unilateral ceasefire. They had the terrorists encircled. They would want to teach these terrorists a lesson. As expected, Malaysia rejected the call to reciprocate the Sultanate’s unilateral declaration of a ceasefire and opted to press their offensive. Malaysia is determined to charge the Sultan and his followers in court and have them tried as criminals.The Kirams didn’t fool me for a moment. Ever since the Sabah shooting started, they were engaging in psywar (psychological warfare) and many of our media colleagues provided them with undeserved exposure. In the Iraq War, we laughed our heads off when we heard that Iraqi propaganda minister predict the annihilation of US-led forces. Over here, our media could not discern if they were facing a Baghdad Bob, as that Iraqi propaganda minister was fondly called, and bit hook, line and sinker the Sultanate’s propaganda lines.Last Wednesday, March 6, the truth finally emerged. The Filipinos in Sabah who were supposed to rally to the Sultan’s cause refused to be associated with the Sabah incident. They condemned it. They were more concerned with their livelihoods, lives and assets. The real situation on the ground must have dawned on the Kirams — they were running low on supplies, their casualties were rising and there were no reinforcements to be expected from the local Sabah Filipino population.The call for a ceasefire by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon provided the Kirams with a face saving mechanism to call for a unilateral ceasefire. Throughout the crisis, they were proudly boasting of their willingness to die and that they’ll never surrender. In my book, that unilateral ceasefire was all about throwing in the towel after creating so many deaths, havoc and tension. If we had a narrow-minded president, we could have been dragged into a war with Malaysia.In declaring the unilateral ceasefire, Abraham Idjirani, Sultanate spokesman was quoted: “The achievement of the Sultanate of Sulu obtained over the last few days cannot compare to the value of lives lost since the March 1st massacre.” Do they mean that this did not occur to them when they planned this misadventure? And do you believe them?It’s amazing how many supposedly educated folks were taken for a ride by this Sabah misadventure. They were made to perceive the troublemakers as romantic Muslim warriors, believing the Kiram proud boast that they were willing to die for their cause, which is to reclaim Sabah from Malaysia. Nobody even wondered why this under-manned and under-gunned Royal Army was hoping to regain Sabah from Malaysia when we, with our armed forces, cannot and should not undertake that misadventure.Forget about all the presentation of documents, speeches and what not about our historical claim to Sabah. These documents further cluttered the confused minds of many — instead of enlightening them. When more light shines on a confused mind, the more confused it gets. That’s what happened to these charlatans and would-be instant Sabah experts who failed to see through the pattern of deception being weaved and the futility of reviving the Sabah claim now.  The March 6 editorial of GMA News online that was contributed by an anthropologist best described the bottom line of this exercise in hypertension: “The asymmetry between the failed Sultanate and the modern Malaysian state it is challenging could not be more stark. What is interesting is that, confronted by a challenge to its sovereignty, Malaysia has revealed the true basis of a state’s power. Not democracy, not a social contract, not the rule of law, not the recognition of the international community of states ‑ which are the myths, the lies the state tells about itself — but violence.”It continued: “Sabah belongs to Malaysia because they can hold on to it, and neither the Philippines nor the Sultanate can take it from them. So the Sultanate fails in modern, “statist” terms as well, in that it cannot match Malaysia’s capacity for violence.”Go check the capability of the Malaysian armed forces. In 2012, they spent $4.37 billion. Go check the Malaysian air force and their combined firepower composed of BAE Hawk Mk.208, Sukhoi Su-30 MKM Flanker, Boeing F/A-18D Hornet, Mikoyan MiG-29N Fulcrum and Northrop F-5E Tiger II jets. Malaysia could destroy a Philippine invasion expedition within an hour after it leaves a Philippine port.When the charlatans and P-Noy haters raised their voices to “save the Filipino invaders in Sabah” they’re actually suggesting that we should send an expedition there to rescue the troublemakers. Philippine-Malaysia relations have been mutually beneficial in terms of trade and tourism. Malaysia played a key role in the crafting of the framework for peace with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). It’s insane to want to be at war with such an ASEAN neighbor.To bolster the Malaysian claim to Sabah, they have a 1963 referendum where two-thirds of Sabah voted to remain with Malaysia. The UN duly acknowledged the validity of this referendum. To bolster the Malaysia claim, Dictator Ferdinand Marcos had renounced our claim to Sabah in 1977. To bolster the Malaysian claim to Sabah, the international court where these claims are contested doesn’t honor historical claims because that would only open a Pandora’s box. That would mean the return of the Americas to the Native Americans or the return of California and Texas to the Mexicans.In effect, these charlatans and P-Noy haters want us to embrace a trouble-making Sultanate and lose our good and mutually beneficial relations with Malaysia over a spurious Sabah claim. These charlatans like to posture as patriots. They’re really traitors.*      *      *Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

    • VWGTi_MKVI

       Finally, someone who could talk some sense. Nice post!

    • tohellwithhypocrites

      thank you for posting…

  • Bayan Panona

    These are but the results of dirty politics in this country. During Marcos’ presidency, “they” plotted a propaganda and brain-washed these Tausugs to turn against the president as if “they” really cared for the Muslims. “they” sugarcoated the propaganda by telling Muslims not to fight their fellow Muslims and stop Marcos’ claim of Sabah. And now that Marcos is gone, “they” let the Malaysian government meddle in this country’s problems regarding peace negotiations between Muslims and the current administration. Soon after the negotiations were done, “they” left Tausugs on their own and out of placed. This then is the reason why Sultanate of Sulu is re-claiming Sabah. They just want a place of their own to the point of fighting their own Muslim brothers. But this Administration doesn’t care. It is not a big of an issue for them caliming that if they meddle, which is what they should be doing, the meddling might put the many to risk. In simple terms, let the “royal army” ( who are also Pilipinos ) die in Sabah, because they are few, rather than fight for Sabah and let the many suffer. It’s as if Tausugs are just problems of this country and letting them get killed in Sabah is the solution. Where are those “brave” media now?! Where are those “human rights advocateas” now? Your fellow Pilipinos are getting killed in a soil that is supposed to be ours and yet all you ever do is watch! Dahil ba hawak kayo ng administrasyon kaya wala na rin kayong pakialam?! Mga P#7@Ng ina nyo! Dito lang kayo sa Pilipinas matapang. Kapwa niyo lang Pilipino ang kaya ninyong kastiguhin! 

    • VWGTi_MKVI

       You might want to read about “Jabidah Massacre”. It will sort out the first part of your post.

      Basically Marcos presidency selected about 200 people from the Sulu Province and Tawi-Tawi to train them to become special military units. They were promised ranks and monthly allowance in the PH army.  They were trained to cause dissent and guerrilla warfare in Sabah. BUT when the trainees finally knew the mission where they would be fighting their brother Muslims in Sabah, but also possibly killing their own, they refused. They were then brought out in 12s to be executed on an airfield. Only 1 survivor, Jibin Arula survived.

      The PH military handlers were brought into court-martial and Supreme Court in 1970 but no real punishment were ever given.

      • VWGTi_MKVI

         Incidents like these caused MNLF and later MILF to be created.

  • lhan

    The Jabidah massacre won’t happen, if the Tausogs recruits accomplished their mission, laid by the late Pres. Marcos to “get” the Sabah into Philippine jurisdiction during that time AFP is one of the most equipped armed forces in  Asia but the so-called brave warriors from Sulu refused because of the reasons they will kill their fellow muslim brothers which is what exactly happening today, Malaysian muslim authorities are now killing these Royal Army of Sultanate of Sulu which is 90% composed of MNLF fighters. FYI, after the debacle of the Jabidah massacre, the rise of Moro liberation groups sprung up & the MNLF headed by the now old-man & spent force bullet Nur Misuari led his group to wage war on the AFP which is one of the clandestine mission is to get the Sabah into Manila’s control to signify it is part of the Sultanate of Sulu w/c is also part of the Philippine Republic. MNLF get their funding & training from Malaysia to fight the AFP & thus weakened our position to claim the Sabah. If the Operation: Merdekah succeed that time, the happiest people on earth by this time is the Sultan of Sulu. But, today looks like Malaysia is in karma & so are the MNLF a.k.a. Royal Army of Sulu.

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