Overkill: Malaysian warplanes bomb Filipinos loyal to Sulu Sultanate in bid to end Sabah standoff

In a news conference this morning Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar reported a successful execution of “Ops Sulu” which involved an “all-out” offensive to flush out members of a group of armed Filipinos claiming to be members of the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu…

Earlier today, a Bernama reporter staying in Felda Sahabat 16, about 20km from Kampung Tanduo, heard several explosions which rocked the village.

Several fighter aircraft and helicopters were seen flying low over the area and the public was ordered to keep away from the area of operation, [Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar] reported.

Ismail said the security forces had deployed commandos, soldiers and General Operations Force policemen to undertake a mopping-up exercise and search several houses in the area.

sabah_standoff
[Photo courtesy News.com.au.]

A later report stated that “fighter jets dropped at least 10 bombs” within a 20-kilometre radius encompassing the Sabah villages of Kampung Tanduo, Tanjung Labian and Kampung Tanjung Batu. The escalation of military activities there puts at risk Malaysia’s and its partners’ investments in fossil fuel extraction and refining industries there and could put off any future investments in the region. Reuters reports “Oil majors such as ConocoPhillips and Shell have poured in billions of dollars to develop oil and gas fields in Sabah. Chinese companies have been investing in hydro-power and coal mining.” Furthermore…

Three Malaysian palm oil refineries with a combined capacity of 1.8 million tonnes were running at reduced capacity and are preparing to halt operations if the violence drags on, refinery officials with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

The refineries are owned by Singapore’s Wilmar International and Malaysia’s KL Kepong and Kwantas Corp. Sabah is Malaysia’s top oil palm growing region, accounting for a quarter of national production.

Much of the palm oil from Sabah is shipped to China — the world’s second largest consumer of edible oils.

Media outlets all over the world are virtually unanimous in being critical of the way Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III has handled the crisis. A TIME Magazine article reports

The President’s uncompromising stance may have far-reaching consequences. Mohagher Iqbal, chief negotiator of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which signed a peace deal with Manila in October after four decades of armed struggle, has already admitted that their own peace talks have been affected. The Philippine media has also been critical of Aquino’s stance. “President Aquino and his officials were throwing to the Malaysian wolves Filipino Muslims digging in what they claimed was their legitimate homeland in Sabah,” says Rigoberto Tiglao in the Manila Times. “With that the president has driven the last nail on the coffin of the Philippine claim to Sabah,” read an editorial on Monday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “What he didn’t say to the sultan’s men was: If you get slaughtered by the Malaysians, that’s your fault. Condolences.”

The Malaysian government for its part insists that the assault was a police operation and not one under military command. “We are harnessing technical aspects of the military but the operations remain under the police,” Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib reportedly said. Malaysia’s use of fighter planes in the assault, however, has brought to question the nature of what is now seen to be excessive force for what is considered to be a “police operation”. This is after the Philippine government had dispatched Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario to Kuala Lumpur to appeal for the exercise of “maximum tolerance” in the handling of the crisis on the ground. Unfortunately del Rosario reportedly was “unable to persuade Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Dato Sri’ Anifah Aman and Defense Minister Dato Seri Ahmad Zamid Hamidi for a peaceful resolution on the Sabah situation.”

Meanwhile, in what is looking like a backpedalling on its initial position of keeping the issue of the Philippines’ long-standing claim of sovereignty over Sabah “dormant” presumably to appease the Malaysian government which itself is playing a key role in the brokering a peace deal between Manila and the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Malacañang has now announced it will be reopening its study of the possibility of progressing the Philippines’ bid to annex the Malaysian state….

The Philippines is considering taking its claim to Sabah to the International Court of Justice, Edwin Lacierda, a spokesman for Mr Aquino, told ABS-CBN News in a television interview on Monday.

“We are seriously studying the claim of the Kirams to Sabah,” Mr Lacierda said. The territorial claim is enshrined in the 1987 constitution and “it’s still there”, he said.

According presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang “We’ve done everything we could to prevent this, but in the end Kiram’s people chose this path.” Perhaps. But in this instance it seems more a case of everything within the scope of what little there is left to do.

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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13 Comments on "Overkill: Malaysian warplanes bomb Filipinos loyal to Sulu Sultanate in bid to end Sabah standoff"

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fucker
Guest

Filipino is the best fighter as qouted by General Mc Arthur.Lets give our brother Muslim a boast of morale support. In God be mercy abd help them all for this fight..

Kenneth
Guest

To PNoy the election is more important than the lives of people, not only our Tausug Brothers but also tje victims of the previous supertyphoon Pablo. He is more commited being a full-time campaign manager rather than a head of a state. He should have resigned his Presidency if he wants to continue being a campaign manager of his party.

eduardo
Guest

The government has done everything they could to prevent the tragic incident, but in the end, Kiram’s people chose their fate.

traffice2000
Guest

Really? So, what’s your story?

Felipe
Guest

Nangibabaw na naman kay BS Aquino ang partido at politika. To BS Aquino, KKK and political affiliation are higher priority than our nation’s jurisdiction and sovereignty and the lives and future of our Filipino citizens.

Lumalabas na ngayon ang totoo: Yellow stands for cowardice. Matapang lang sila Aquino sa mga taong dehado—nakakahiya administrasyon natin!

Johnny Derp
Guest

“The government has done everything they could to prevent the tragic incident”

And yet your president still managed to f*ck it up. No matter what you say, it is already clear that aquino has betrayed his countrymen.

Your president’s days are numbered.

Kenneth
Guest

Sonyou mean to say that mocking and treatening the Tausugs are what you call done everything? Now they branded them as Terrorist, this just gve Malaysia an authority to slaughter of comrades. . What kind of government who wanted their countryman slaughtered. This time your government pointing fingers scheme will not work.

Aegis-Judex
Guest

“Now they branded them as Terrorist, this just gve Malaysia an authority to slaughter of comrades.” [sic]

Which makes sense, as terrorists are considered hostes humani generis–outlaws, in other words.

Libertas
Guest

so by agreeing with malaysia p-noy and rosario gave the green light to malaysia to massacre them and then keep their distance and let malaysia get rid of p-noys problem, as though they were hacienda luisita farmers.
big mistake!

Kenneth
Guest

@Aegis, From your reply, I assume you are a Lawyer, or Studying Law. Are they still entitled to due process now they are considered as a treat ,a “Terrorist”?

They say Marcos is a tyrant, but who’s showing their true colors now? A son of a gun president who to him the election is more important than our national security. Expect that chaos will soon hit Luzon.

Aegis-Judex
Guest
“From your reply, I assume you are a Lawyer, or Studying Law.” I’m neither. Closest thing to that would be kin in the legal business. ‘Are they still entitled to due process now they are considered as a treat ,a “Terrorist”? ‘ Historically, outlaws are exactly just that: individuals held to be outside the protection of the laws. You tell me. “They say Marcos is a tyrant, but who’s showing their true colors now? A son of a gun president who to him the election is more important than our national security. Expect that chaos will soon hit Luzon.” That’s… Read more »
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[…] resources to defend the territory with deadly force. Back in early 2013, Kuala Lumpur had ignored pleas from Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario to exercise “maximum tolerance” in dealing with a group of armed Filipinos claiming to […]