ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) is in deep mourning after the death of Sultan Esmail Kiram 2nd who succumbed to kidney failure at the Zamboanga Peninsula Hospital on Saturday afternoon here in this city.
The 75-year-old sultan used to be the former ‘bantilan’ or acting sultan after his elder brother Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd left Jolo, Sulu and opted to stay in Taguig City, Metro Manila. Sultan Kiram 3rd succumbed to multiple organ failure at the Philippine Heart Center along East Avenue, Quezon City in October 2013.
The remains of Sultan Kiram 2nd was airlifted to Jolo on Sunday afternoon for immediate burial. Based on Muslim tradition, the dead has to be buried within 24 hours.
Dayang-Dayang (princess) Krishna Kiram-Idjirani, the younger sister of the sultan and also the wife of the Sultanate of Sulu Spokesperson Abraham Idjirani, told The Manila Times that the remains of Sultan Kiram 2nd will be immediately brought to Darul Jambangan in Maimbung, Sulu. Darul Jambangan was the old seat of the Sultanate of Sulu where the reigning Sultan used to have a palace.
Krishna said her brother will be buried at the royal cemetery next to the grave of their eldest brother, Sultan Jamalul. Sultan Esmail and Sultan Jamalul are both sons of the late Sultan Pinjungan Kiram, who was the Sabah territory administrator.
It can be recalled that Sultan Kiram 2nd after the death of his brother Sultan Kiam 3rd vowed to honor the latter’s last will to pursue claim on Sabah.
Sultan Kiram 2nd is survived by his second wife Hadja Leonor Sakiral Kiram. He has nine children with his first wife, the late Hadja Zainab Hussin Kiram.
Leo Caparas, an adopted son of Sultan Kiram 2nd and known as Abdullah Kiram, said he deeply mourns his foster father who used to stay in one of his condominium units whenever the sultan is in Manila.
“I felt very sad on the demise of Sultan Esmail who is very fatherly to me and a soft-spoken sultan [and]that I have not heard of him raised his voice even in the fit of anger,” he added.