Latest Stories


Malaysia wise not to attack sultanate’s men


The ultimatum given by the Malaysian authorities to the men of the Sultanate of Sulu who are holed up in a village in Sabah expired at midnight of Tuesday, Feb. 26.

But Malaysian police and military forces surrounding the village didn’t attack as expected when the ultimatum ended.

The Malaysians are wise to make such a drastic move against people who belong to the Tausugs of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, a tribe of Filipino Muslims that considers fighting a way of life.

The Tausugs (or Tausog, meaning people of the sea current) revere the Sulu sultanate which ruled them for centuries until the coming of the Americans at the beginning of the 20th century.

They believe in the cause of their sultanate even if its power of life and death over its subjects has become dormant for more than a century now.

If the men and women led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, who were sent by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, are harmed, the people in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the Tausugs in Sabah would take up arms against the Malaysian government.

In the event a Tausug revolt against Malaysia takes place, most Tausugs in Sabah will harbor or fight with the warriors from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. Sabah is only one hour by speedboat from Tawi-Tawi.

From my source close to the sultanate, 2,500 armed Tausugs are in Sabah. Most of them belong to the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) whose founder, Nur Misuari, traces his lineage to the sultanate.

The armed men from Sulu and Tawi-Tawi landed in the Malaysian state even before Sultan Kiram and his group arrived in Sabah.

At the height of the furor over the landing last week, about 150 MNLF armed regulars from Palawan landed in Sabah, according to very reliable sources. Although the Malaysian and Philippine navies guard the boundary between the two countries, it is easy to cross the border.

This porous border contributed to the increase of the Tausug population in Sabah, with many who escaped the war between the government and the MNLF in the 1970s and ’80s settling down in the Malaysian state.

Malaysia is walking on a tightrope in the Sabah standoff.

*                                *                             *

His advisers should advise President Noy to refrain from making statements on the Sabah standoff that would hurt the sensibilities of the Tausugs. In trying to please Malaysia, the President might have another Tausug revolt in his hands.

The President said he would order the arrest of Sultan Jamalulu Kiram III if he didn’t withdraw his armed men from Sabah.

Such statements are counterproductive.

If the President doesn’t know it yet, the Tausug revolt in the 1970-1980s nearly resulted in the collapse of the Marcos government.

*                                  *                         *

PO2 Christine Mangibang of the San Pedro police station should be relieved from her post at the children and women’s desk.

Jessa Regaspi, 33, told this writer that Mangibang didn’t act on her complaint of domestic violence. According to Regaspi, Mangibang seemed to be flirting with somebody on her cell phone and did not bother to take down her complaint of domestic violence.

*                                     *                           *

The mother of a girl with cerebral palsy, who was reportedly raped by her own father, complained that a prominent politician is protecting her estranged husband.

The mother says that the suspect, a businessman from Marinduque, is out on bail, even if rape is a nonbailable offense.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: column , Metro , Ramon Tulfo , Sabah standoff , Tausugs

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace