From the Philippine News Agency (Mar 5): Police intercept Sultanate of Sulu followers in Tawi-Tawi
Philippine police have intercepted 67 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, III and
prevented them to sail to Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, an official disclosed
Tawi-Tawi police director Sr. Supt. Joselito Salido disclosed the group was
intercepted Tuesday in Bongao, the capital of Tawi-Tawi province.
Salido said they were able to convince the group to return home, and “they
voluntarily heeded our advice.”
“They are peaceful and unarmed people,” Salido described the group.
The group’s members came from the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi,
Philippine government authorities have tightened their watch in the country’s
southern border to prevent more followers of the Sultanate of Sulu to sail to
Sabah to reinforce their comrades holed out in Lahad Datu.
The move is aimed at preventing further escalation of the Sabah standoff
which started when 180 members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu led by
Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the Sultan’s brother, sailed from Mindanao on Feb 12
to stake a claim to Sabah.
Hostilities broke out the past few days as the Malaysian government launched
an assault since Kiram’s group stood its ground despite stern warning for the
group to leave the place.