Published: Saturday March 2, 2013 MYT 5:24:00 PM
Updated: Saturday March 2, 2013 MYT 7:14:39 PM
Sulu Sultan Kiram’s daughter: Aquino’s surrender order is ‘not acceptable’
MANILA: President Benigno Aquino III's order to Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram's men in Sabah to “surrender now with no conditions” is “not acceptable”.
“All they know how to say is surrender, surrender. Why should we surrender in our own home? They (his followers now in Sabah) are not doing anything bad in their own home),” the elder Kiram said in Filipino.
Kiram's daughter, Jacel, said the President's surrender order was “not acceptable.”
The aging and ailing sultan appeared briefly with action movie star Robin Padilla before dozens of journalists holed up in his home in Taguig City.
Jacel Kiram contradicted Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras' claim that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was in “direct contact” with her family Friday night.
She said someone who claimed to represent the justice secretary had contacted them, demanding a “categorical statement” from the sultan ordering his followers to come home without any conditions.
She said previous emissaries tried to impose their terms on them.
“Dapat kasi negotiations, dapat hindi dinidikta [What's needed is negotiation, not dictation],” she said.
“There was never any option, no option was given but to surrender,” she added.
Jacel also disputed Almendras' claim that the government had done everything to peacefully resolve the standoff.
She said the standoff would continue until the three parties-the Sultanate and the Philippine and Malaysian governments-sit down to discuss the Sabah ownership issue. - Philippines Daily Inquirer/ANN