• Kirams not giving up Sabah claim

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    THE family of Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd will never give up its claim on Sabah, according to the sultanate’s spokesman.

    Abraham Idjirani said members of the Sulu Royal Forces (SRF) who are still in Sabah vowed to continue with the fight against the Malaysian government despite pressure from the Philippine government on the Kirams.

    Idjirani said Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram refused to go back to Sulu province.

    “Sabi ni Raja Muda, hindi siya uuwi dito sapagkat ang kalaban natin ay hindi ang gobyerno ng Pilipinas kundi ang gobyerno ng [Raja Muda said that he will not go back here because our enemy is not the Philippine government but] Malaysia,” Idjirani told The Manila Times.

    Raja Muda, Sultan Kiram’s brother, led the SRF in occupying a portion of Lahad Datu town in Sabah that resulted in a bloody standoff in February. The ensuing clashes led to the killing of scores of Kiram’s men and the arrest of a few others.

    Idjirani also said that while Raja Muda and his army remain in Sabah, they are in a defensive position and would retaliate only if attacked.

    On Monday, Kiram bared the alleged plan of the Philippine government to extradite him and his family and supporters to Malaysia to face possible charges in connection with the bloody Sabah standoff.

    Malacañang has denied the allegations.

    The sultanate said Malacañang’s denial was “expected.”

    Idjirani also challenged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to make public the result of the study conducted by a committee he formed about the Sabah issue.

    “Why does the President seem so afraid to inform the Filipino people about the result of the study?” he asked.

    On Tuesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) denied that there was any plan to surrender the Kirams to Malaysian authorities.

    “I don’t know from whom the Kirams are getting their info. There’s no such plan to extradite them. In the first place, Malaysia has not made any request for their extradition,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said.

    The DOJ chief pointed out that it is not legally possible to extradite the Kirams since there exists no extradition treaty between the Philippines and Malaysia.

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