Kirams dare PNoy to ready big jail for them

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo on Wednesday dared President Aquino to prepare a big jail cell for Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, his family and his supporters saying they would be facing the charge of inciting  war against Malaysia over Sabah and are willing to be jailed for it.

“Prepare a big jail cell for all of us. We will not run. We will not hide. It is up to the Filipino people to decide who really abandoned the claim on Sabah,” said Sulu Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani.

Idjirani, who earlier said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had conducted a credible probe on the occupation of Lahad Datu, Sabah, by the Sultanate’s Royal Security Force, has slammed the agency for “concocting” a report finding Kiram, his family and their supporters of conspiring to incite  war with Malaysia.

“The report by the NBI is concocted. This is lutong Macau. They know that the only way of stopping the Sabah claim is to stop the Kiram family,” said Idjirani.

Idjirani said that should warrants be issued for the arrest of the Kiram family  members and their supporters, they would not resist. Idjirani added that the Sultanate is cash-strapped and that it would  be unable to post bail on the possible charges of inciting  war and violation of the election gunban.

“These are bailable offenses but we do not have the money to post bail. Whether we will be arrested or not depends of the decision of the President,” he said.

Kiram accuses  Aquino of putting pressure on the Kiram family and their supporters to appease Malaysia which has brokered the peace deal between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

“The PNoy administration is putting pressure on the Kiram family because it does not want to displease the Malaysian government which had sponsored the peace deal with the MILF. President Aquino will never take the side of the (Kiram) family. The Pnoy administration is not protecting the interest of the Filipino people,” Idjirani said.

Idjirani said he is not surprised that  Aquino is not supporting the Sulu Sultanate on the Sabah issue saying the President is protecting his family’s legacy of dropping the claim of the Philippines on Sabah.

Idjirani meanwhile said the Sultanate’s RSF fighters who are still holed-up in Lahad Datu in Sabah under the command of Agbimmudin Kiram will no longer return to the Philippines. Agbimuddin and some 200 RSF fighters landed in Lahad Dati from Sulu last February 12.

The NBI recommended the filing of illegal possession of firearms and violation of election gun ban and Article 118 of the Revised Penal Code or inciting to war against  Kiram and the 38 suspected members of the RSF who were arrested as they were attempting to enter the Philippines from Sabah last March.

The NBI said evidence showed the Kirams in Sulu and their relatives and supporters in Taguig City “had planned (the incursion) as early as November 2012.”

The NBI report, which was submitted to the office of DOJ director Martin Mendez for review last May 21, detailed how the Kirams plotted what investigators called an “adventure” to supposedly demonstrate their territorial claims over Sabah. Mendez, however, refused to give details of the report.

The NBI report said Kirams and their supporters should be indicted for inciting  war with Malaysia, which had triggered clashes between the sultanate’s army and Malaysian authorities that killed several people and which also jeopardized the country’s ties with its neighbor.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said there is extraterritorial jurisdiction to investigate Kiram and his group under a provision of the Revised Penal Code, which applies the penal law on some crimes committed outside Philippine territory.

The NBI, however, concluded that former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales, Council for Philippine Affairs secretary-general Pastor Saycon, Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari, and former media man Waldy Carbonell had no role in the incursion as alleged in earlier reports.

There was no sufficient evidence to prove that any of the four financed or helped the Kirams to bring their armed followers to Sabah, according to the report.

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