MANILA: Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram remains safe in Lahad Datu although he and his men are now suffering from hunger due to constantly running around on foot to evade the Malaysian security forces, his relatives said Friday.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesperson of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, said that according to Agbimuddin, members of the Kirams' Royal Security Forces have “regrouped” after the initial attack on them last March 1.
“They are constantly moving, not by boat, not by any means of transportation but by themselves. They are on foot. They are suffering from hunger,” Idjirani said at a press conference.
Idjirani said he was able to talk to Agbimuddin at around 2:30pm Friday.
Earlier, Jacel Kiram, daughter of the Jamalul Kiram, told the media that her uncle was safe in Lahad Datu but decried what she described as “maximum violence” unleashed by the Malaysian police and military.
“I was able to speak to one woman (in Tawi-Tawi) who kept on crying because she said children and women were being shot. While there was a call for maximum tolerance, there is indiscriminate firing (by the Malaysians). Maximum violence is what is happening,” Princess Jacel said in Filipino.
She also said that the unilateral ceasefire announced by her father still holds despite Malaysia's rejection of it.
“The instruction for them is to be always on the defensive, just be ready for any assault or attack. Just defense, no attack,” she said.
“Unfortunately, Malaysia is emboldened and decided to finish off the Filipinos in Sabah. It is clear that the government of PNoy is very much in support of the Malaysian government,” Jacel said, adding, “We pray and hope the President being Filipino would prevail so that he would address the situation in Sabah.”
The past two days also saw the sultan reiterating his message that he was willing to talk to President Aquino to resolve the conflict in Sabah.
“From the very beginning, we have been saying that our lines are open to talk directly to the President. There should be no emissaries because it has been proven that there is no effective emissary,” Jacel said.
She added that the fighting in Lahad Datu could not have happened had the emissaries of Malacanang been “efficient and effective.”
“What we need is to talk because if they really want to resolve this peacefully, our government should prove that. We want to talk if Malaysia wants to end this peacefully. We want to talk, but why don't they want to talk to us?” she said.
This appeared to be also the message of Agbimuddin.
According to Idjirani, Agbimuddin told his elder brother to ask the media's help in “influencing Malaysia to follow the call of the United Nations to take heed of sobriety and dialogue with the Sultanate of Sulu.”
Idjirani said that despite the call of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for and end to the violence in Sabah, there has been continuous assault by the Malaysian security forces. - Philippine Daily Inquirer