224 Kiram men ‘intact’, choose to die in Sabah

By Kathlyn dela Cruz

No order to pullout forces due to Palace ‘lies’

MANILA, Philippines — The remaining 224 followers of the Sultanate of Sulu in Sabah have decided not to retreat and instead die in Lahad Datu town “in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations,” the daughter of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III said on Saturday.

Reading the letter of Crown Prince Datu Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, Princess Jaycel said the sultanate’s followers decided not to leave Lahad Datu despite the shootout with Malaysian security forces Friday morning which claimed 10 lives from their group and injured four others.

Two Malaysian security personnel also died in the encounter, the police chief of the Malaysian state of Sabah said. Malaysian officials also claimed 12 armed Filipinos were killed in the incident.

“After we buried our nine brothers and one sister at sundown, everyone of the 224 left decided to die in Lahad Datu in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations…and have decided to put everything in the hands of Allah,” Princess Jaycel said, reading Raja Muda’s letter in a press conference Saturday morning.

Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani, likewise, said: “Intact sila, the remaining 224.”

The sultanate’s followers, led by Sultan Kiram’s brother Raja Muda, have been holed up in Lahad Datu town since February 12 in an effort to strengthen their claim to the Malaysian territory.

Idjirani earlier said the standoff between their group and Malaysian forces in Sabah is not yet over, refuting earlier statements made by the Malaysian and Philippine governments.

Idjirani had said that the standoff continued and the group of Raja Muda had moved to another location to continue their fight.

“If the standoff is over, that means Raja Muda and his companions have either been captured or have been killed,” he said Friday.

But Idjirani confirmed on Saturday that no shootout between the royal army and Malaysian forces had occurred since 8 p.m. Friday.

“Since 8 p.m. last night, wala pa ho. And as of 5:30 this morning, wala po.”


Idjirani confirmed that 10 men from Raja Muda’s group were arrested by Malaysian authorities but again insisted that no one surrendered.

“Tinanong natin kay Raja Muda kung confirmed na may nahuli. Ang sabi niya ‘confirmed,'” Idjirani said.

“Ang tanong papaano nahuli ‘yung sampu. ‘Yung sampu sabi ni Raja Muda habang siya ay iniinterview, nakatutok ang paningin sa kanya. So all of a sudden…parang nataranta lahat, ‘di nakahawak ng baril,” he added.

“Hindi [nagsurrender],” he continued.


Despite the confirmed casualties and injuries from their side, Princess Jaycel said the sultanate’s followers were still not ordered to retreat and return to the Philippines.

This, she said, was due to the “lies” being peddled by Malacañang, pertaining to the government’s conflicting reports on the situation in Sabah.

“My father was about to consider ‘yung sinusuggest ng gobyerno natin. But because of the lies of this government, my father stay firmed up to the moment to continue the fight and not surrender,” she said.


During the press conference, Princess Jaycel also slammed the Philippine government for allegedly not taking any action after the incident.

She said the bloody firefight was “tantamount to massacre,” noting that the 3,000 Malaysian forces obviously outnumbered Kiram’s group of over 200 men.

“Clearly, walang ginagawa ang gobyerno,” she said.

“Wala sinuman from the office of the Malacañang is taking this seriously. Bakit kung sincere kayo sa mga pangako niyo, bakit hindi mismo ang mga officials ng Malacañang ang magpahayag direkta sa amin?” Princess Jaycel added.

The sultanate wants that a formal agreement recognizing their Sabah claim, brokered by Manila, be reached with Kuala Lumpur.

Manila, however, said the sultanate’s condition is unacceptable.

It even warned members of the sultanate of possible criminal charges as a result of their decision to enter a foreign territory while bearing firearms.

The sultanate of Sulu is citing historical accounts as basis for its claim.

Sabah was given to the Sultanate of Sulu by the Sultanate of Brunei due to the former’s help in quelling a rebellion during the 17th century.

In 1878, the Sultanate of Sulu leased Sabah to the British North Borneo Company. Britain eventually annexed Sabah in 1946. The disputed territory was then turned over by Britain to the Federation of Malaysia in 1963.


13 Responses. Have your say.

  1. Richard R. Bacaltos Pe says:

    If President Diosdado Macapagal has the guts to claim it why not another Kapangpangan President Noy Aquino 111? Anyway, everybody has their own scores in history?

  2. Don Azarias says:


    At least the Sultan’s followers have the courage to die for their cause. Those so-called “nationalists” responsible for closing the American air and naval bases in the Philippines are, obviously, a bunch of yellow bellies who don’t have the guts to stand up to the Chinese.

    It makes me wonder why P-Noy doesn’t seem to support the Sultanate despite its valid claim to Sabah.


    • perry says:

      Hi Don,

      It seems like P-Noy is pandering to the Malaysians. A lot of Malaysian business enterprises are setting up their businesses in the Philippines including a pyramid operator who scammed billions from a lot of people in Mindanao. Malaysia refused to extradite him saying that he is facing some criminal charges committed in Malaysia. Of course, we know who that works, right?


  3. To the Sultan of Sulu:
    Your people surrendered your rights of portion of Sabah, (not all of Sabah, please remember that) to Gustavus Von Overbeck in 1872, this agreement would be effective forever… No revocation… You surrendered your sovereignity to the US (1915 Kiram-Carpenter Agreement) in 1915; then in April 1962 you again surrendered your sovereignity to thehillipines Central Government.. And you still have the guts to come to Sabah and lay your claims to lands that is nomlonger yours? Wake Up Sultan Jahanamlul…

    • perry says:

      No, the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo never surrendered its rights to Gustavus Von Overbeck but merely leased it (padjak) for 5,000 Mexican dollars in 1878. However, the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo ceded its sovereignty over North Borneo (Sabah) to the Philippines in 1962, which made the Philippines the rightful and legal owner of Sabah.


      • Seawolf says:

        mexican dollar..?
        it was in Malayan dollar…and the lease is until the end of time. Simply means…as long as you made the payment, the agreement stand.

        • perry says:

          Hi Seawolf,

          The 5,000 gold pieces were then called “Mexican” or “Spanish” dollars. Malaya had nothing to do with the lease. North Borneo was leased to two individuals, Overbeck and Dent. However, it was stipulated that the lease cannot be assigned or transferred without the express consent of the lessor (Sultan of Sulu). Since Overbeck and Dent assigned the lease to the British Empire without the Sultan’s consent, then that made the transfer null and void and the property should have been returned to the lessor.


          • Seawolf says:

            would be interesting if you could paste a link that says the lease cannot be assigned or transfered to a third party without any consent of the SUltan.

  4. If Sabahan wants indpendence, difinitely it will not be with the so-called Sultan of Sulu..
    Ater all, we decided in a referendum to go for self independence in 1962… Everyone includingnJamalulnshould respect that.. What we did and with who we are associated with after we got our independence is our own business..

    • Don Azarias says:

      To The Sabah Reform Movement:

      Whoever your members are, it would be a good idea for you to first read, understand and be conversant of the historical facts regarding the Philippines’ rightful ownership of Sabah the way Perry Diaz did.

      It’s obvious that your argument is full of holes.

      Don Azarias

      • Seawolf says:

        FYI, the said land was leased until the end of time ~ that is according to the Sulu Agreement.

        On 22 January 1878, an agreement was signed between the Sultanate of Sulu and British commercial syndicate (Alfred Dent and Baron von Overback), which stipulated that North Borneo was either ceded or leased (depending on translation used) to the British syndicate in return for payment of 5000 Malayan Dollar per year.[33] [31]
        British version
        “ … hereby grant and cede of our own free and sovereign will to Gustavus Baron de Overbeck of Hong Kong and Alfred Dent Esquire of London…and assigns for ever and in perpetuity all the rights and powers belonging to us over all the territories and lands being tritutary to us on the mainland of the island of Borneo commencing from the Pandassan River
        on the north-west coast and extending along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuco River in the south and comprising amongst other the States of Paitan, Sugut, Bangaya, Labuk, Sandakan, Kina Batangan, Mumiang, and all the other territories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco river with all the islands within three marine leagues of the coast.[34]

        Sulu version
        “ …do hereby lease of our own freewill and satisfaction to…all the territories and lands being tributary to [us] together with their heirs, associates, successors and assigns forever and until the end of time, all rights and powers which we possess over all territories and lads tributary to us on the mainland of the Island of Borneo, commencing from the Pandassan River on the west coast to Maludu Bay, and extending along the whole east coast as far as Sibuco River on the south,…, and all the other territories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco River, …, [9 nautical miles] of the coast.”[35] ”

  5. Ben Palomares says:

    Ridiculous, hard to comprehend why your own government sided with a foreign squatter. Hard to understand why your own government on the guise of preventing bloodshed threatened the Filipino owner to vacate, give way to a foreign tenant (paying less than 6K dollars yearly rent to a lot as big as Mindanao.) Pitiful are our Muslim brothers holed up in a small pocket of land of a vast land rightfully owned sorrounded armed to the teeth (naval, ground and air?) by its own governemnt side by side by a foreign squatter giving ultimatum to vacate or else…they killed already 10 filipinos

  6. esperanza says:

    It doesn’t require a rocket scientist to understand what plight the Kiram Sultanate had been fighting for many years from their ancestors. The fact of the matter, is that they are “continuing to receive the rental payments over the lease” of the land in Sabah!!! What do you call that? It simply means, the Kirams are being honored for their “ownership of the Sabah Properties”!!!

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