Hornbill Unleashed

March 10, 2013

‘Surrender only option for Sulu Sultan’


MANILA: The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs says the sultan’s followers must lay down their arms to save lives.

With Malaysia’s rejection of the call for a unilateral ceasefire, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the only option left for Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and his followers is to “lay down their arms” in order to save lives and prevent further bloodshed in Sabah.

“It could be… this would be the last option for the Kirams in order to save nationals in that area and to prevent more bloodshed,” DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez said in a press briefing today.

Jamalul Kiram earlier called for a ceasefire after United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon urged an end to the violence in Sabah.

But Malaysia promptly rejected the proposal and said its security forces had killed more than 30 of the Filipino fighters yesterday.

Hernandez pointed out that this was the repeated call of the Philippine government for about two weeks. However, DFA did not receive any cooperation from the Kiram group.

“When people get killed, that is difficult not only for Malaysia but for other parties,” he stated. “What we want is to prevent further loss of lives. We asked them to withdraw and go back to their families.” reports the Manila Bulletin

As far as the Philippine government is concerned, Hernandez said the only way to further prevent the loss of lives at this point in time is for the Kirams and their followers to lay down their arms.

“We think this could the last option for the Kirams,” he said.

As opposed to surrender, Hernandez explained that “the word being used that is culturally acceptable is to lay down their arms”.

He reiterated that the Philippine government has been negotiating with Malaysian authorities and talking with the Kirams.

“However, there is still no consensus,” he said. “We have not received any cooperation.”

“Still, we are continuing to explore all avenues to avoid further loss of lives,” Hernandez added. “At this point, after Malaysia rejected the call of Jamalul Kiram for a unilateral ceasefire, it appears that the only option left for the Kirams to save lives is to lay down their arms.”

Meanwhile, Hernandez reported that the DFA has sent a note to the Malaysian Embassy in Manila to strongly request that the team deployed by the Philippine Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to Lahad Datu be given full access to 10 followers of the Sultanate of Sulu who were earlier arrested in Sabah.

He said this is consistent with the Vienna Convention of Consular Relations.

Article 36 of the Vienna Convention states that foreign nationals who are arrested or detained be given notice “without delay” of their right to have their embassy or consulate notified of their arrest.

According to Hernandez, the request was made to ensure the “humane treatment of Filipinos”.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario already delivered a note earlier this week to Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman requesting Malaysian authorities to exercise maximum tolerance in dealing with the remaining followers of the Sultan of Sulu.

Another was for clearance from Malaysia to allow the Philippine Navy ship AT-296 Tagbanua to proceed to Lahad Datu to provide humanitarian and medical assistance to the Filipinos there.

It further requested that the humanitarian ship be allowed to ferry the wounded and other members of the group back to their respective homes and families.

However, Hernandez said so far these requests have not been granted by Malaysia.

“Maybe they are still considering these requests,” he told reporters.

– Agencies


  1. Kiram II could be claimed to have been under duress or was mentally unfit during the signing in 1946, so regardless of ‘several actions and by various separate instruments between 19 April 1851 and 26 June 1946, relinquished and ceded all of its rights, interests and dominion over what was previously referred to as North Borneo’, the value of a sovereign state is not something that anyone in their right mind would cede away and in those days the British conducted their ‘diplomacy’ with warfare much like China’s Opium Wars.

    The insanity or duress argument can be called into play to dispute the validity of all cessions. Given the ‘simple’ ‘uneducated’ native mindset of that day, this argument is valid for consideration in dismissal of all inapplicable secessions. Mention of 2002 is mere demogoguery that does not adderess the root cause of why the territory was ceded despite the value of such a Sovereign state. The only logical view is duress, conjob, or insanity which Kiram III now seeks redress for when his father Kiram II was FORCED??? to sign away an entire country in 1946. The 1946 signing is not valid by these MORAL and ETHICAL considerations and we know that LEGALISTICALLY or merely ‘Word of Law’ based arguments and cases cannot stand when the spirit of the law is ignored – the spirit of the law in this case overwhelmingly is on Kiram III’s side. Sulu Sultanate has via this angle, legitimate claim over Sabah, says @AgreeToDisagree.

    Comment by AgreeToDisagree — March 11, 2013 @ 3:57 AM | Reply

  2. Send Mahadog to them as a sacrificial lamb

    Comment by tigeryk — March 10, 2013 @ 8:12 PM | Reply

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