MANILA, MARCH 25, 2013
(PHILSTAR) By Mike Frialde - The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Friday confirmed reports that the eight men now facing charges of terrorism and waging war against the king in Lahad Datu are not members of its Royal Security Force (RSF) but are Malaysian nationals.

“A relative of the wife of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram who lives in Sabah has confirmed to us that these men are not members of the Royal Security Forces,” said Abraham Idjirani, spokesman of the Sultanate.

“What does the Malaysian government intend to do? They are lying through their teeth. They are fooling the Philippine government and the entire world,” Idjirani added.

Idjirani said that one of the eight arrested men, identified as Hooland Kalbi by the Malaysian news agency Bernama, was actually one of the 10 members of the Sultanate’s army who were killed in battle with security forces on March 1.

Kalbi was quoted by Bernama as saying that he was paid by Sultan Kiram to join the expedition in Sabah.

“Hooland Kalbi is dead, that we are sure about,” Idjirani said.

Malaysia’s Star Online had reported that eight Filipinos – aged between 17 and 66 - were initially charged before a Magistrate Court in Lahad Datu with “waging war” against Malaysia’s king, Yang Di-Pertuan Agong.

Two cases under the Penal Code - Section 121 K for waging war against King Agong and Section 130 KA for terrorism - were read to the eight reported Filipinos at the district police headquarters, where the makeshift court was set up, according to Star Online.

Violation of Section 121 K provides for the death penalty while Section 130 KA, a jail term of up to 30 years.

According to Idjirani, the Malaysian government is now waging a disinformation campaign to discredit Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III and fan the anger the Philippine government.

“Malaysia will continue to lie so that the sultanate will not get any support from President Aquino, from our own government. Niloloko ng Malaysia ang buong mundo,” Idjirani said.

Meanwhile, Idjirani repeated his call to the United Nations to send a peacekeeping team in Sabah to protect the Filipino civilians and for Malaysians to allow international media access to the territory.

“I think we understand why they did not want international media to enter Sabah. It’s because their hiding something,” Idjirani said.

According to Idjirani, a total of 108 Filipinos in Sabah have been arrested under Malaysia’s Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 for allegedly supporting the RSF who entered Sabah on February 12.

At least 243 others face offences under the Immigration and National Registration Acts, he added.

Idjirani also denied reports from Malaysia that Raja Muda Kiram has already left Sabah and is now in hiding in Southern Philippines.

According to Idjirani, the Raja Muda is still in Sabah doing “hit and run” tactics with his remaining 161 men.

According to Idjirani, 24 fighters of the RSF have so far been killed in clashes with Malaysian security forces since the first encounter happened on March 1.


Malaysia has no respect for PH ON TARGET Malaysia has no respect for PH By Ramon Tulfo Philippine Daily Inquirer

No matter how strong Malacañang protests the abuses committed against Filipinos in Sabah in the aftermath of the gunbattle between Malaysian security forces and men of the Sulu sultan, it will just fall on deaf ears.

Why? Because Malaysia thinks the country owes it a debt of gratitude for brokering the peace talks between our government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Since President Noy has sided with Malaysia instead of the Sultanate of Sulu over the latter’s Sabah claim, Malaysia takes this as a license to abuse Filipinos in the contested island-state.

* * *

If Malaysia has any respect for the Philippines at all, it should have allowed a Navy ship sent to Sabah to ferry Filipinos fleeing the violence that erupted there.

The Navy ship could not enter the Malaysian-Philippine border to undertake a humanitarian mission.

That’s how much Malaysians look down on us.

We are being bullied by a neighbor because we don’t have the means to fight back.

Things would have been different if we had the military strength to match Malaysia’s, but we don’t.

* * *

Malaysia apparently thinks that since the Philippines cannot handle its Moro insurgency problem that it had to seek Malaysia’s help, how could this country stand up to its neighbor that flogs its citizens in Sabah?

The Philippines is like the parent who can’t do anything while bully Malaysia beats up his children.

Develop your muscles first before you can even confront me over the beating of your children, the muscle-bound bully tells the weakling parent.

* * *

If Malaysia thinks that applying strong-arm tactics against the Tausugs (Muslims from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi) in Sabah will weaken their resolve to fight, it doesn’t know the Tausugs.

Fighting is a way of life for the Tausugs.

Malaysia should know that since it supported the Tausugs in fighting the government of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 1980s.

* * *

The new director of the Bureau of Corrections is retired police general Franklin Jesus Bucayo.

A member of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1981, Bucayo was a police regional director in the Ilocos provinces before he retired.

As host of a public service show, I dealt with Bucayo when he was still a major in the defunct Philippine Constabulary, and I found him a very efficient worker.

The corrections bureau will certainly benefit from Bucayo’s vaunted efficiency.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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