Raja Muda incommunicado; Malaysia shut down cell sites?
MANILA – Malaysian authorities have reportedly shut down cell sites in Sabah to prevent members of the Sulu royal army from contacting Jamalul Kiram in the Philippines.
Fatima Kiram, wife of the sultan, said they have not been able to contact Raja Muda Kiram, the sultan’s brother.
Raja Muda is leading the armed group in Sabah.
She said an emissary of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima contacted her to convince her to recall their followers in Sabah, Malaysia. She said she told the emissary that their followers will not surrender unconditionally.
“We're not violent people…We've never killed anyone. Gusto lang namin may pag-uusap hindi one way lang,” she said.
For his part, Sultan Kiram said they have yet to talk to an official representative from Malacañang on the resolution of the ownership issue in Sabah.
“Wala naman kaming inaantay from Philipppine government kasi nakikita namin wala namang maitutulong yung Philippine government eh,” he said.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, however, said it is the Kiram family who kept insisting on talks with President Aquino even after Malacañang sent 3 emissaries.
Among those who met with the Kiram family are Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Ronald Llamas, National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia and ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman.
“First of all, they wanted the government to press the Sabah claim. What did the President say? We will study the claim. I have formed a task group to study the claim,” he said, referring to a team in the justice and foreign affairs departments and the Palace legal team.
“Second thing, they said we want emissaries. On the 2nd day of the incident, Secretary Garcia and Llamas went and then Gov. Mujiv Hataman also went. And then they suddenly said, these people are not authorized. The alter egos of the President were there. Llamas and Garcia are alter egos of the president. How much higher did they want? They keep on changing the goal posts.”
Lacierda said the Palace recognizes the Philippines’ claim over Sabah and is still pursuing a peaceful resolution.
But for now the Sabah situation is in the hands of the Malaysian government.