By the very admission of Sultanate of Sulu Princess Jacel Kiram, daughter of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, in a March 8 GMA Network “Unang Hirit” interview — the Sabah issue is strictly between the Sultanate and Malaysia. Racel Kiram admitted that the authorization given by their family to the Philippine government in 1962 lapsed automatically when nothing was accomplished in pursuing the claim after 20 years.
Jacel Kiram was quoted: “Nag-lapse na po ito. Nakalagay po ‘dun sa kasulatan na in 20 years time, kung wala pong nagawa ang gobyerno… may expiration ‘yung authority. So back to the Sultanate of Sulu na ulit. (This lapsed already. It’s in the agreement that if nothing is accomplished in 20 years, the agreement automatically expires. That’s why it’s back with the Sultanate.)”
This is the same Jacel Kiram who has been accusing the President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) government of acting as a Malaysian puppet for not supporting their Sabah misadventure. She and her family knew from Day 1 that the Philippine government no longer has a role in pursuing the Sultanate’s Sabah claim — yet they ranted for days for being abandoned and that P-Noy didn’t protect fellow Filipinos. Now from her own mouth, she announced last Friday that the Sabah issue is strictly between them and Malaysia.
In an earlier media report, a recruit of the Sultan’s royal army in Sabah admitted that they were lured to join by promises of $600 in wages, land and position. Early on during the Sabah misadventure, the Kirams kept boasting that they were willing to fight and die for their rights to Sabah and that many Filipinos in Sabah will rally and join their cause. Again, these boasts reflect deception. The 200-man royal army expedition would not have been as courageous if they knew there were no reinforcements to be expected from Filipinos in Sabah.
Amazing how those of our supposed “sober-minded analysts” and “Sabah experts” missed the pattern of deception in this Sabah caper. Nobody ever thought of the safety of the over 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah that became exposed to risks of deportation because of Sultan Kiram’s boast that they’ll join his misadventure. Not only did they not join the Kiram misadventure — they condemned it for putting their lives, livelihood and assets at risk. Now, they’re returning home where they have no jobs or shelter.
This admission of Jacel Kiram is evidence that there was a conspiracy in this Sabah misadventure. It’s a conspiracy to stir Filipino emotions to further the Sultanate’s interest in what’s strictly a Sultanate and Malaysia row. It’s a conspiracy to involve the Philippine government and the Filipino people both here and in Sabah in a violent episode that the Sultanate instigated when it turns out all along that we have no role in this Sabah row. How could all those so-called analysts, intellectuals of our academe miss this grand deception and even reinforce the misplaced desire to reclaim Sabah? Charlatans they all proved to be.
They were proclaiming the Sabah invaders as romantic Tausug warriors — and that they were Filipinos our government was duty bound to protect. Such idiots they are, people who don’t know the truth even when it stares them in the face. Nobody among these charlatans realized that when you create a national security threat in another country, you are liable to the laws of that country and our government is duty-bound to respect that. When captured and tried, the best our government can do is to provide legal service and when convicted — plead for clemency. In my opinion, the Sultanate should provide for the legal service. They started this mess so let them pay for its outcome and attendant costs.
The seriousness of the threat to Malaysian national security could have dragged all of us into a war with a neighbor that enjoys superior firepower if we had a president who is driven by emotions, like many of those who were ready to assail him for “mishandling” the Sabah issue. Let them come out now and repeat their “mishandling” charge against P-Noy. How can P-Noy mishandle a claim that we were not party to? Mishandling would be if P-Noy engaged Philippine resources and soldiers in a conflict that doesn’t involve us.
[Original article appeared in Philippine Star here.]