Published: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 9:51:00 PM
Updated: Friday March 8, 2013 MYT 11:34:42 PM
Lahad Datu: Yet another claimant to Sulu throne
MANILA: There is yet another claimant to the title of sultan of Sulu, and although he remains in hiding his spokesman says he is the real thing.
Representatives of a Datu Abinasser Sultan Badaruddin D. Mohammad Bataraza claimed that he was the real sultan of Sulu, as he was descended from the first wife of Sultan Jamalul Alam, who signed the 1878 agreement to lease Sabah to the British North Borneo Co.
According to documents furnished the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Badaruddin's representatives have been trying to get President Aquino to recognize him as the real sultan of Sulu since July 25, 2012.
On Oct 24, 2012, Badaruddin's representatives wrote to United Nation secretary general Ban Ki-moon asking for assistance in getting him recognized as the real sultan of Sulu.
Arturo Sampana, a former Inquirer correspondent who identified himself as spokesman of the 74-year-old Badaruddin, said that the real sultan was in hiding but would come out soon to speak about his claim to the sultanate.
According to Sampana, Badarrudin is the fourth of the five children of Puteri Aishah Almarhum and Datu Mohammad Bataraza. His mother Aishah was the daughter of Puteri Sharifah Zainab, or Princess Indok, the wife of the Sultan Badarrudin II who reigned from 1881 to 1884.
He said Badarrudin II was the successor to Sultan Jamalul Alam. When he died, allegedly from poisoning, his family, including Aishah, went into hiding.
Jamalul Kiram II, whose mother was the second wife of Jamalul Alam, succeeded Badaruddin II.
Sampana said Jamalul Kiram III, who claims he is the sultan of Sulu and whose followers are being chased by Malaysian security forces in Sabah, is a descendant of the second wife of Jamalul Alam.
“Tartib is the traditional sultanate succession followed by Muslim Tausug where the rightful heir to the sultan's throne comes from the first wife of the reigning sultan,” Sampana said.
He said Badaruddin's ancestry could be determined by the official Tarsila, or family tree.
Sampana said Badaruddin's representatives sent copies of their letters to the President and UN secretary general to Justice Secretary Leila De Lima earlier this week.
Badaruddin was coming out of hiding because of the revival of the Philippine claim to Sabah, Sampana said.
Badaruddin and his family lived in Sabah during the 1970s and returned to the country in 2009, but remained in hiding for their security, Sampana said.
He said Badarudin was the only surviving heir to the throne, as elder brother Ayub died three years ago.
Sampana showed the Inquirer a certified original copy of the congressional discussion of the Sabah claim on April 28, 1950, that led to the issuance of Joint Resolution No. 42 expressing the sense of the country that North Borneo belonged to the heirs of the sultan of Sulu and fell under the sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines.
The record quoted Samar Rep. Agripino Escareal as explaining that the High Court of North Borneo recognized the heirs of the Sulu sultan in a suit they had filed.
The heirs were Dayang Dayang Kiram, Princess Tarhata Kiram, Princess Ines Kiram and “a group of other Kirams and some others.”
When asked by his colleagues who the other Kirams were, Escareal said, “There is another Kiram in Palawan.”
Sampana said Escareal was referring to Abinasser Badaruddin, who was a young man at the time and living in Palawan.
In their July 25, 2012 letter to President Aquino, Sampana and Hajah Rohilmina Kamsa (who represented Abinasser as attorneys in fact) sought presidential assistance “for the fulfillment of the Real Sultan's quest for official recognition by concerned entities.”
“They are now in hiding, after they left Sabah, lest Datu Abinasser will be liquidated by those who want him dead, especially entities protecting the unrecognized (by Brunei, England and the US ) sultan(s) now reigning in the Philippines so that he will not be able to claim the Sulu throne,” their letter said.
They said they will present pertinent documents and artifacts, including the “golden seal, crown, belt and coins kept by the Sultan's family.”
In their letter to Ban Ki-Moon, they also sought the help of the UN which supervises the International Court of Justice in seeking official recognition for Badaruddin as the sultan of Sulu.
“As the UN Secretary General who acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the United Nations and who can discern the current geopolitics-you can bring this to the attention of concerned international entities,” Sampana and Kamsa said. - Philippine Daily Inquirer