A princess from Sulu province in southern Philippines has called on her fellow Tausug to be vigilant in the wake of the recent beheading of a 70-year-old German hostage, whose family failed to deliver a multimillion ransom that his captors from the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) had demanded.
Jacel Kiram, in a statement, expressed concern that the good name of the Tausug would be compromised by the horrific death of Jurgen Kantner last week in the hands of the ASG, a local jihadist group with links to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS.
At the same time, the princess condemned the killing, saying, “We abhor to the highest level this gruesome act of kidnapping and beheading of people in our territory.”
She added that as a Tausug, she “take[s]pride in belonging to this strong minority who are historically known as honorable, fearless warriors, standing and fighting only for a good cause.”
According to Princess Jacel, “The truth is, this fight embraced by the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Sulu must also be the same fight for every Tausug who seeks peace and a safe future for the sake of our children’s children.”
She cited the need “to strive harder in order to secure and leave a good legacy for our next generation.”
The Sulu princess said Filipinos, including the Tausug of Mindanao, “have to be vigilant in protecting the reputation of the Philippines in the eyes of the international community by giving due respect and honor to the sacredness of the Tausug.”
She also called for unity for “peace, progress and prosperity for our country and the world.”
Princess Jacel Kiram, daughter of the late 33rd Sulu King Sultan Jamalul Kiram 3rd, is the president of both the Philsilat Sports Association and KIRAM Inc. (Kristiano’t Islam Repormang Aagapay sa Mamamayan), an inter-faith organization geared toward livelihood and sustainability for Muslim communities.
She is also the vice president for Mindanao of the People’s National Movement for Federalism or Penamed.