Malacanang on Sunday extended its condolences to the family of the Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd, who died Sunday.
“We offer our condolences to the bereaved family and to his loved ones,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said in a radio interview.
Kiram, who led the Lahad Datu invasion to “reclaim” Sabah earlier this
year, died of multiple organ failure at the Philippine Heart Center
Sunday morning. He was 75.
Before he died, Kiram had ordered his brothers and followers to continue with efforts to “repossess” Sabah for the Filipino people, his wife, Fatima said in a radio report.
The Philippine government remains undecided on whether to Kiram’s claim to Sabah.
According to Valte, President Aquino 3rd’s had ordered a study of the legal and historical aspects of the Sabah claim.
The claim had lain dormant for years until followers of Kiram occupied Lahad Datu for several days last February.
Malaysian forces expelled them in a bloody crackdown that killed almost a hundred people and forced an exodus of thousands of Filipinos to Mindanao.
Asked about the government’s plans now that the sultan has died, Valte said, “the question presupposes that the claim is dependent on one person, which it is not, so the study is still ongoing.”
Kiram, one of the heirs of the Sulu sultanate, earlier said they wanted the Philippines to pursue the historical claim on Sabah through the International Court of Justice or the United Nations.
His group claims that Sabah was merely leased to the British North Borneo Co. which later transferred its rights to Malaysia.
CATHERINE S. VALENTE