ZAMBOANGA CITY – The Philippine government downplayed threats of the Royal Security Force of the Sultanate of Sulu that violence could erupt in Mindanao if President Benigno Aquino 3rd fails to support their historical claim on Sabah, which is now part of Malaysia.
General Panglima, who claims to be a leader of the Royal Security Force, accused the government of ignoring claims by the Sultanate of Sulu to reclaim Sabah, whose historical name was Borneo.
“Nananawagan kami sa pamahalaan na sana po gawin nila o hanapan na lang ng paraan ang isyu na ito at huwag naman nila ito isantabi. One year na kami sa giyera at naghihintay mula ng sumiklab ang gulo sa Sabah noon February 2013 at 2014 na ngayon ay wala pa rin action ang pamahalaan ukol dito sa Sabah claim,” Panglima said in a statement.
“Binalewala nila ang aming isyu (sa Sabah). Masakit man sa amin na pumanaw na ang mahal namin pinuno na si Sultan Jamalul Kiram III at hindi rin sila nakinig. Kung kaya’t gulo lang ang gusto nilang pag-usapan o pakinggan ng pamahalaan, kaya din namin gumawa ng malaking gulo o karahasan sa buong Mindanao kahit na minamaliit pa nila ang aming puwersa o grupo kaya nananawagan kami sa pamahalaan na tulungan kaming hanapan ng paraan ang isyu ma ito. Magtulungan at magkaisa tayo at laban na ito para sa buong Pilipino, Kristiyano at Muslim ay magkapatid at iisang dugo,” he added.
The threats came a day after the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) which Malaysia has brokered.
Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte in an interview with TV5 said Sabah is not part of the envisioned core territories of the Bangsamoro entity under the newly signed Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
“I’m not quite sure if that’s representative of the sultanate as a group or as a whole,” Valte told the television network as she reiterated her call for everyone to read the annexes under the CAB which were put online, and also urged anew to give the peace pact a chance as there is “so much to gain and nothing to lose.”
“We’ve always advocated peaceful means to settle any dispute, whether it’s local or international,” Valte said.
In February last year, the ailing Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, of the Sultanate of Sulu, sent about 200 followers headed by his brother Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram to Sabah to exert their claim and historical rights over the island.
Sultan Jamalul’s group has rejected Malaysian demand for them to surrender peacefully and a fighting erupted in Lahad Datu town where more than 60 of the sultan’s men had been killed and over 300 Filipinos arrested on suspicion they were supporting or aiding the group of Raja Muda Agbimuddin.
Malaysia also placed Sultan Jamalul and his brother on its wanted list and branded them as terrorists for intruding into Sabah and killing and decapitating 10 policemen and soldiers in separate clashes on the island. Raja Muda Agbimuddin managed to escape the Malaysian assault in Sabah, while Sultan Jamalul died in October last year from a lingering illness at age 75.