Kiram: Malaysia can crush our group anytime-A A +A
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
MANILA -- Malaysian security forces deployed in a town in Sabah can easily neutralize the some 200 followers of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who are trying to reclaim the resource-rich territory, a spokesman for the sultanate said Tuesday.
In a televised press briefing, Abraham Idjirani maintained their call to prevent further bloodshed and settle the issue peacefully before an international tribunal.
"Ang totoo natatakot na ang mga iba. Sino ba ang hindi matatakot against all odds? 211 against 100,000 plus (Malaysian soldiers). Aapakan lang, wala silang magawa," he said.
Earlier in the day, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak confirmed the attack of troops on armed Filipinos holed up in Lahad Datu following the clash that killed eight policemen and 12 Kiram followers last week.
Upon learning this report, Idjirani apparently just left the fate of the standoff to God.
"Wala na tayong magawa because so many times we appealed to them (Malaysia) na pag-usapan. Kung hindi mapakiusapan, let the divine intervention judge whether kung ang ginagawa natin ay nagsasabi tayo ng totoo o hindi. In the case of the (Aquino) government, their refusal to talk with us is now a sign that this is the kind of national policy they are adopting towards the issue," he said.
President Benigno Aquino III had said that authorities are now investigating some people from the Arroyo administration who could be conspiring with the sultanate in sending armed followers to Sabah.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario, meanwhile, is in Kuala Lumpur to ask for the de-escalation of armed clashes and allow a Philippine Navy ship with medical and social welfare personnel to enter the area and attend to victims.
Meanwhile, a radio report said the Malaysian Embassy in Makati City suspended operations because of a rally organized by the militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
The group also asked the Malaysian government to stop its military offensive since Kiram's group reportedly include women and minors.
Bayan chairperson Carol Araullo said there are reports that the conflict in Lahad Datu has already spread to other parts of Sabah involving Filipino communities that are not involved in the standoff.
"Thus generating more tension and pushing the Sultanate's followers to resort to arms to defend themselves," she said.
Araullo said the claim of the sultanate is valid as proven by historical facts and even documentary records.
"There is a wealth of documentary evidence and there has never been any dispute over who originally had sovereignty over North Borneo now called Sabah, that is, the Sultanate of Sulu," she said.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is expected to submit to President Aquino her legal opinion on the Sabah claim this week. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)