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IN THE MATTER OF ASSERTION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE STATE OF SULU SULTANATE DARUL ISLAM ON 17 NOVEMBER 2010
BY COUNCIL OF REGENTS (The Interim Governing Body of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam)
IN THE MATTER OF ASSERTION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE STATE OF SULU SULTANATE DARUL ISLAM
I. INTRODUCTION Last November 17, 2009, a gathering of more than 5000 Bangsa Sug assisted by Attorney Meltino “Ulung” Jaujan Sibulan as Counsel for the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam conducted a “Miswarat” or Consultation with the slogan – “Bangsa Sug Aku. Muslim Aku, Bukun Aku Filipino.” This slogan simply expresses that they are citizens of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam and that the Bangsa Sug, being the people of the State, is a distinct race of nation from the Christianized people called Filipino. The hopeful delegations coming from the different islands of Sulu Archipelago – Jolo, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Zamboanga Peninsula, Palawan and North Borneo asserting as they were – the United Tau Sug People, adopted a ‘DECLARATION OF UNITY’ for the assertion of independence of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam and to create a COUNCIL OF REGENTS composed of Ulama, traditional, political and religious leaders, Royal Datus, Sharifs, professionals and businessmen toward that end. The Council of Regents is mandated to act as an interim governing body of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam and to search, examine and declare, from among the legitimate heirs, a Sultan, in accordance with the traditional rule of succession, with the acclamation of the “Raayats” or people for his mandate and trust to becoming the Muslim leader in authority. II. OVERVIEW OF THE “MISWARAT” / CONSULTATIVE ASSEMBLY The Miswarat has centered on the principle of Right of Self-Determination as embodied in the United Nations Charter, International Laws, General Assembly resolutions and/or international covenants which provide that, “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”
-3The Bangsa Sug of the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam has the right of self-defense as recognized by the United Nations Charter under Article 51, Chapter VII which states that, “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense xxx.” Without an iota of doubt, historical realities augmented by territorial integrity, distinct national identity, the glorious Islam and splendid cultural heritage affirm that Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam was already (and still) independent and sovereign Islamic state centuries ahead from the foundation of the Republic of Philippines on July 4, 1946. The United States government blinded itself to the fact that its occupation of the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam in 1899 was without a formal declaration of war duly approved by the United States Congress in violation of Article I, Section 8 of the 1787 U.S. Constitution. Besides, the relation of the United States of America and the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam was merely through a treaty of friendship known internationally as – the Bates Treaty. The illegal incorporation of the territory of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam into the Republic of the Philippines caused many Bangsa Sug traditional leaders and people continuous uprising in their struggle to resist alien subjugation, domination and exploitation. Thus and so, on June 9, 1921, the then reigning Sultan and other 57 prominent Muslim leaders of Sulu Sultanate petition the United States of America and then reiterated with greatest patriotic fervor and resolve for self-determination and independence which was placed on official record of the United States Congress as the “Declaration of Rights and Purposes” in 1926. III. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE FOUNDATION OF SULU SULTANATE The origin of the Sultanate of Sulu cannot be fully understood without taking into consideration the Islamization of the Sulu Archipelago. This history of the Sulu Sultanate is an inseparable part of Islamization process in the Southeast Asian area. In writing the history of Sulu, the writer should have the Islamic knowledge and it should be based from Islamic Sufism. On the basis of archeological data and other pieces of documentary evidence, it can be asserted that by the end of the 13th century there were already Muslim “Ummah” (settlements) that existed in the mainland of Sulu Archipelago. These settlements consisted of foreign Muslims who had raised families by marrying local inhabitants. About the early part of the 14th century, Muslim Arabs with missionary directions came to Sulu and strengthened Islam religion among the descendants of the Muslim foreign traders as well as to effect new conversions. Thus, Islam was able to go beyond the limits of foreign settlement in Sulu mainland and spread to the surrounding inhabitants of Sulu Archipelago. The Sultanate of Sulu was firmly established by and among her Islamized people. We must not view the Sultanate as an institution that was forcibly introduced from without, coming as it were, to impose Islam. Rather, as soon as the native inhabitants have become Muslims by faith, they were able to tolerate such a political institution because the non-royal Datus or local chieftains, being generally brave and independent by nature, would normally resist any form of central authority that might spell the reduction of their powers. But because of their new Islamic faith and growing
-4consciousness of majority of the native tribes that then developed into one nation – Bangsa Sug, it became essential for them to accept the political and religious constitution of the Sultanate. The State of the Sultanate of Sulu, historically, was founded on the 24th day of Jumadil Awwal, 808 A.H. or equivalent to 17th day of November, 1405 C.E., at Banua Buansa Ummah, Lupah Sug (Sulu), by an Arab missionary whose proper name was Sayyid Abu Bakr. He came originally from Hadramaut, Yemen, Arabia and a direct descendant of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) from his grandson Sayyidina Hussein. Sayyid Abu Bakr (Abubakar) was enthroned as the first Sultan of Sulu Sultanate through popular acclamation of the adherents – the Bangsa Sug. His regnal title was Paduka Mahasari Maulana Al-Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim, but commonly called Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim. He patterned the government of the Sulu Sultanate after the Caliphate system of government of Arabia. After organization of the Sultanate institution and rapid growth of Islam that strengthened the unity of the native tribes into one nation – the Bangsa Sug, it opened the door toward harmonious relations, progress and sustained peaceful co-existence under Darul Islam. Details about Al-Marhum Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim can be known by tradition and more importantly from the “tarsilas”. These documents are very important for they constitute what might be called the basis or proofs for political legitimacy. In a “taritib” or protocol ordained by Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim states that no “Datu” can become a Sultan of the Sulu Sultanate unless he is his true descendant which the said “tarsilas” attested the genealogical family tree demonstrating such a descent. But what is interesting to note, the “tarsilas” makes other important assertions. More specifically, they assert that the Sultans of Sulu descended from at least three distinct lineages. There is narration on how a Sumatran Prince Raja Baginda arrived at Banua Buansa “Ummah” (settlement) with some courtiers and religious learned men. He married the daughter of a non-Royal Datu. Out of this marriage, a Princess was born whose name was Dayang-Dayang (Princess) Paramisuli. It was when Dayang-Dayang Paramisuli has grown up that Sayyid Abu Bakr arrived in 1395 at Banua Buansa Ummah, Lupah Sug (Sulu) and later married her with whom they got three children, namely Alauddin, Putri, and Kamaluddin. After the death of Raja Baginda, his father-in-law, Sayyid Abu Bakr inherited the political leadership of Banua Buansa Ummah, Lupah Sug and continued the propagation of Islam throughout the islands of the Sulu Archipelago and founded the glorious Darul Islam – the Sulu Sultanate. His reigned was from 1405 to 1415. He died in 1415 at Banua Buansa Ummah, Lupah Sug, whose “tulab” or last resting place can be found high up on the slope of the mountain called – Bud Tumantangis, few kilometers from the town of Jolo. The significance of these all, firstly, on the basis of descent from a local Princess, the Sultan and the people could claim ownership of territorial jurisdiction of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam. It is this descent that prevented the Sultan from being considered foreigner and provided the connecting link with the pre-Islamic past. The claimed descent from a Sumatran Prince strengthened the basis of legitimacy of the Sulu Sultan who could also claimed that they have familial connections with the rulers of dynasties or empires in Nusantara. The descent from Sayyidina Hussein was also essential for it has become a value in Islamic jurisprudence to prefer a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) as a Ruler. That is, everything being equal among several candidates for the Sultanate; the preference would be given to the one who is both sovereign native of Sulu and the descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
-5Thus the very fine pedigree of the Sulu Sultans can now be appreciated. As descendant of the Prophet (S.A.W.), they have the right to rule over Muslims. As descendants of a Sumatran Prince, they were related to the ruling royal families and not being foreigners in the world of Nusantara, but they were actually heirs of Malay Empires. As descendants of a local Princess, they have the right to the homeland of the Bangsa Sug and could not indeed be considered foreigners in Sulu. Accordingly, those Datus that descended from Al-Marhum Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim are known as “Royal Datus”; they only and no one else can become, strictly speaking, candidates to the throne of the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam. There are established rules principally rooted in tradition requiring qualities that should support a Royal Datu to become a legitimate ruler of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam. Islam is a rule of Allah by the vicegerents of Allah for the good of humanity. It is the responsibility of the chosen leader and his constituents to establish the rule of God according to the Holy Qur’an and the traditions (Sunnah) of the Prophet of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). Thus, the supremacy of the divine law is one of the fundamental tenets of Islamic polity and the leaders as well as the adherents have to submit to the Shari’ah. In Sulu Sultanate, it is the rule of Allah known as the Shari’ah that prevails. The Shari’ah, being unalterable and suitable to all the people and in all ages, is the foundation of Islamic polity of the Sulu Sultanate. It is clear that the Islamic system of government of the Sultanate of Sulu is not a western-type of government where laws may be enforced, changed or modified according to the will of the majority. As to the inhabitants of the Sulu Archipelago, they have practiced freely and independently their own socio-cultural, religious and traditional principles under the Sultanate as a government headed by a Sultan. The reigning de jure Sultan of Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam is exercising both ecclesiastical and temporal powers. Definitely, the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam has and should have only one reigning de jure Sultan. Long before the existence of the United States of America and the Republic of the Philippines, the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam was already a sovereign and independent Islamic state founded in 1405 under the leadership of duly enthroned Sultan. IV. RELATIONSHIP OF BRUNEI SULTANATE AND SULU SULTANATE The Brunei and Sulu have been developed into a Sultanate form of government in the 13th and 14 centuries respectively.
The successions of Brunei Sultans claim descent from at least three sources: a Chinese royal official, an Arab “Sharif” and the pre-Islamic aristocracy. The first lineage shows connections with an old empire, the second lineage establishes a right to rule over Muslims, and the third lineage provides a link with the local historic past. It can thus be seen that the royal bloodline legitimacy is analogous to that of Sulu royal families. It can be appreciated that the Brunei Sultans have a fine descent like those of Sulu. This point is important to note because among all the Sultans in this part of the world, if genealogical and political values are considered, it will be concluded that the Sultans of Brunei and Sulu have a more elaborate genealogy than any Sultans of the Malay Peninsula.
The Sultans of Brunei and Sulu were related by marriages. According to a Brunei tarsila, the fifth Brunei Sultan Bolkiah, who was also known as Nakhoda Regam, had married a daughter of Sulu Sultan Alauddin, the third reigning Sultan of Sulu according to Spanish historian, Antonio Pigafetta who was in Brunei in 1521. According to Pigafetta, it appears that the father-in-law of Sultan Bolkiah did not get along very well with his son-in-law since the former coveted a few choice pearls of the latter, and they had fought each other. The son-in-law of Sultan Alauddin took him to Brunei as a hostage. This explains why during the later part of the reigning period of Sultan Alauddin, Sultan Sharif Ali Berkat, the third Sultan of Brunei, was recorded to have reigned in Sulu sometimes in 1425, and whose tomb is located at Bud Datu, Lupah Sug (Sulu). Another Spanish document dated 1578 says, the ruler of Sulu married a sister of the Brunei Sultan Saif ur-Rijal. This Sulu Sultan was known in Sulu as Sultan Muhammad ul-Halim, and he was also called in Brunei as Pangiran Buddiman. Brunei sources further mentioned that Sultan Hassan, the ninth Brunei Sultan had also married another daughter of the Sulu Sultan, and it is further asserted that a son born out of the marriage became Sulu Sultan. In Sulu, this particular Sultan was called Sultan Mawalil Wasit while he was also known as Raja Bongsu in Brunei. However, a confusion on the bloodline of the Sultans of Sulu Sultanate was caused by erroneous information written by western authors, saying that Sulu royal families male bloodline or lineage of Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim, the first Sultan of Sulu Sultanate stopped with Sultan Shah Tengah, who was also known as Pangiran Tindik in Brunei. The same source of information further stated that the successor of Sultan Mawalil Wasit was Sultan Nasiruddin II, also known in Sulu as Sultan Nasiruddin Ahir. This Sultan was erroneously claimed that he was Sultan Qudarat of Maguindanao, the son-in-law of Sultan Mawalil Wasit. Actually, Sultan Nasiruddin Ahir was the great grandson of Sultan Alauddin, the eldest son of Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim. In short, the male bloodline of Sultan Sharif ul-Hashim has not been broken up to the present. History accounts that the war between Spain and the Sultanate of Sulu was caused by the support of Sultan Buddiman of Sulu Sultanate to the Sultanate of Brunei during the naval battle between Spain and the Sultanate of Brunei Forces. It was far from truth, with unknown reasons on the confusion of the bloodline or lineage of Sulu Sultans as written by western historians based from erroneous sources of the genealogy of Sulu Sultans. The genealogy of Sulu Sultans can be deduced from the following documents:
1. Sulu Genealogy which source came from ancient documents, listing 14 names of Sulu Sultans; 2. Alexander Dalrymple’s list, mentioned 13 Sulu Sultans; and, 3. Patikul Khutbah or Sulu Oration listed 27 Sulu Sultans.
In the case of Sultan Nasiruddin Ahir, the Patikul Khutbah (oration) included him as Sultan of Sulu, who descended from Sultan Nasaruddin Awwal and who also ruled during the reigning period of Sultan Mawalil Wasit.
So, as far as, the complete historical genealogy of the reigning de jure Sultans of Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam, it can be read in a book entitled – “THE HISTORY OF SULU SULTANATE” written by the Council of Royal Datus of the Sulu Sultanate. V. SULU SULTANATE INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PRE-SPANISH SOVEREIGN ISLAMIC STATE The Sultanate of Sulu had existed as an independent and sovereign Islamic State since 1405. And in the course of time it was internationally recognized and had diplomatic and commercial relations with China, Brunei, Holland, Spain, United States of America and others as evidenced by the various treaties and agreements she entered into, some of which were:
Brunei Mission of 1369, 1408 and 1644; Sulu Embassy in Batavia, Holland, 1719; Manila Embassy in 1737; The Sulu-Spain Treaty of 1878; The Treaty signed between Sultan Jamal ul-Kiram I of the Sultanate of Sulu and Captain Charles Wilkes of the United States of America on February 5, 1842; The Treaty signed between Gen. John C. Bates, United States America and Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, Sultanate of Sulu on August 20, 1899; and The Carpenter Memorandum signed by the Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, Frank W. Carpenter and Sultan Jamalul Kiram II on March 22, 1915.
The establishment of the Sultanate of Sulu as an independent and sovereign State even antedated the establishment of the Federal System of Government of the United States of America by 382 years based on its 1787 Constitution and the Republic of the Philippines by 541 years. History accounts that Sultanate of Sulu was never at war with the United States of America. The United States was only at war against Spain as officially declared and congressionally authorized on April 21, 1898. After the defeat of Spain, the United States was then at war with the revolutionary government of President Emilio Aguinaldo and was defeated by the American forces. Again, State of the Sulu Sultanate was not part of their war. Under treaty relations between the United States of America and the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam, separate ties of governance for the Sultanate of Sulu was implemented during the early stage of the American regime in the Philippines, where the United States recognized the reigning Sultan as the head of the Islamic State of Sulu Sultanate and the royal Datus with other minor officials were also given due respect and recognition of their leadership. However, tragic tricks tried to change the conditions of the Sultanate of Sulu by visible and invisible hands of foreign powers abusing their power, sowing division and exploiting ignorant minds of the Bangsa Sug to weakening political and legal status of the Sultanate that caused continuous enslavement of Bangsa Sug in their homeland and entrapped them to perpetual alien subjugation and domination.
-8Nevertheless, the Bangsa Sug people of the Sulu Sultanate have exercised and still exercising their sovereign rights since time immemorial and they have never abdicated them to the United States of America either by election process, referendum, plebiscite or otherwise. Thus, it is unacceptable for them to see other nation to exercise their sovereign rights outside the parameters of the United Nations principles and/or rule of international law. It can be seen in the ORTELIUS ASIAN MAP of 1570 that the country now called Philippines was nowhere to find. The name “Mindanao” in the said map covers the areas that are now called Luzon and Visayas, while the area of Sulu archipelago was named “HJOLO”. In 1882, the Spanish Crown Commissioned Señor Francisco Cañamaque thru its Ministro Del Ultramar to make a map of the place they named Filipinas. This official map of the Spanish crown as the result of Señor Cañamaque’s two-year effort, clearly shown in the map was a nation called Sultaniya de Jolo (Sulu), an independent and sovereign Islamic nation, and North Borneo (Sabah) was part of the territorial jurisdiction of Sultaniya de Jolo. No less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo who once said, “History has aptly documented that as early as in the 14th century, years before western colonization made its presence felt in our land, Sulu under the reign of the famous Sultanate of Sulu was already a sovereign state recognized by powerful countries at that time”. VI. TREATIES, ARCHIVAL EVIDENCES AND AUTHORITATIVE TESTIMONIES ATTESTING TO THE HISTORIAL FACT THAT SULU SULTANATE WAS NOT CONQUERED BY SPAIN Aside from the wealth of historical, official and legal documents confirming and attesting to the fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was recognized by other countries as an independent and sovereign state based on the following particular treaties and archival documents, accredited and internationally distributed educational and historical references and research materials can also attest to the fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was not colonial possession of the Spanish Crown and therefore, not legal component of the Spanish Colonial Government of the Philippine Islands which declared war with the United States of America in 1898 as borne out by the following authorities sources: The ENCYCLOPEDIA INTERNATIONAL, Volume 17, Copyright 1979, page 367, has this objective attestation as to the failure of the Spaniards and British to place Sulu Sultanate under the Spanish and British Imperial powers: “Islam became wide spread in the Sulus during the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The Spanish and the British both failed in their attempt to control the islands.” “The Spaniards never subdued the inhabitants who they called Moros; they were a fiercely independent people whose culture was the melting ground of sea traders, shell and coral producers, fishermen, pirates, and slave traders” – New Encyclopedia Britanica, Vol. 11, Copyright 1989, p. 381. “The situation, on so far as determined from our limited experience is as follows: Spain possesses the small walled town known as Jolo. The Governor has complete control within the walls.
-9There are no civil courts, no civil officials outside the walls, the Sultan of Sulu and Borneo is the ruler.” – Capt. E.B. Pratt as quoted in the report of General Otis, ARWD, 1899 p. 133. “America brought war to Mindanao. The American was equally culpable as the Spaniard. The Spaniard brought religion at the point of an arquebus. The American brought law to an inferior and minor people at the point of a Krag. Our claim of Mindanao and Sulu was weak indeed.” – Vic Hurley, author of the book Swish of the Kris, Copyright 1936, p. 175. “Most of Mindanao and Sulu were excluded from the Philippine Territory during the Spanish times. Spain claimed sovereignty over them, but only a few coastal areas were really under its control. The Filipno Muslims (Moros) were not conquered.” – Gregorio F. Zaide, author, Philippine History and Government Copyright 2004, p. 63. “The Sulu Sultanate remained practically independent for four hundred and twenty five years. Its decline was not caused by national retrogression or political dimensions, but by the hostility and aggression of its adversary… The tenacity with which the Sulus resisted Spanish dominations, their obdurate opposition and bravery in battle, and their obstinate passive resistance in peace baffled all Spanish efforts to subvert their political organization or gain a simple point of advantage without paying too dearly for it.” – Sawyer, The Inhabitants of the Philippines, p. 364 as footnoted on p. 48 in the book authored by George A. Malcolm, entitled ‘The Government of the Philippines Islands’, published in New York in 1916. “Numerous wild tribes in the interior, however, the Mohammedan States of Mindanao and Sulu group, for example, have to this day preserved their independence.” – Jayor, Travels in the Philippines, pp. 357-359, Eng. Ed, as quoted in the book entitled, The Government of the Philippine Island by George A. Malcom, Rochester, New York, 1916. “It is suggested that through such cession for small yearly payment, the Moro overlord could be indicated induced to retire and leave the United States to deal with the Moros in such a manner as might seem best adapted to serve the purposes of the United States in the Moroland.” – General Davis’s suggestion found in his Annual Report of 1902 with respect to his ideas as to what American Policy should be toward the Moros. “Let a shrewd agent ask his price. He now needs money, let the Sultan list his property in toto. Then put a price at which he will sell all his estates, all sovereignty, and give complete release and quit-claim, and with his harem, chiefs and datus leave the orient-keep away from our sphere of operations forever.” – O.F. Williams, United States Consul for Singapore in a letter he wrote to Secretary of States, John Hay in 1899. “Any person can purchase land in the archipelago of Jolo and hold same by consent of the Sultan and coming to a satisfactory agreement with the owner of the land; and such purchase shall immediately be registered in the proper office of the United States Government,” – Article IV of the Bates Treaty concluded between the United States of America and the Sultanate of Sulu on August 20, 1899. “The United States will not sell the island of Jolo or any other island of the Jolo Archipelago to any foreign nation without the consent of the Sultan of Jolo.” – Article XIV of the Bates Treaty.
- 10 The Moros fought for home and country, for freedom to pursue their religion and way of life, and for liberty to rove the seas which so ever they would. For over three hundred years they made a shambles of Spain Moro Policy. Expert guerilla fighters, the Muslims exacted a heavy toll of casualties… they fought ferociously and their usual tactic was to wear down their attackers, obliging them gradually to withdraw.” – Peter Gowing, Mandate in Moroland: The American Government of Muslim Filipinos, 1899-1920 p. 12. “…the Muslim did not know that the Treaty of Paris which had ceded the Philippine Archipelago to the Americans included their land as well.” – CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Arts. Vol. 11, 1994. “It was difficult indeed for the Sultan and his followers to understand how the Americans had any claim to sovereignty over Sulu or how it was possible for Spain to “Sell” or cede their territory without their knowledge.” – Peter Gordon Gowing, Mandate in Moroland, p. 33. “In Paris in 1898 when Spain and the new imperialist United States were selling and buying a country and people. Spain sold something it did not own or possess. What is sold was paper, pieces of paper that said that Sulu was part of the Spanish Crown and that Mindanao and Basilan and Sulu, Tawi-Tawi were provinces of Filipinas.” – Dr. Onofre C. Corpus, former Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports. “The arrival of the Spaniards in the second half of the 16 th Century and the subsequent conquest of Luzon, led the Muslims to retreat to the South where they maintained their independence from foreign powers to the end of the Spanish regime…” – Teodoro A. Agoncillo and Milagros 9 Guerrero, co-authors. History of the Filipino People, p. 22. “Spain was able to conquer Luzon and Visayas and to Christianize their inhabitants. But she failed to extend her imperialist rule in Mindanao and Sulu. The brave Muslim Filipinos, whom the Spaniards called Moros successfully, defend their independence and Islam religion. For more than 300 years (1578-1898), they repulse Spanish invasion.” – Dr. Gregorio H. Zaide, Philippine History, Development of our Nation, page 149. No less than the Government of the United States of America confirmed and officially acknowledged the independence and sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu in the Preamble of the CARPENTER MEMORANDUM concluded between the Governor of the Department of Mindanao and Sulu, Frank W. Carpenter, duly authorized by his Excellency the Governor General of the Philippines and the Sultan of Sulu, Mohammad Jamalul Kiram II on March 22, 1915, to wit: “Prior to American occupation, the Sultanate of Sulu had been for more than 400 years an independent sovereignty; during the latter portion of the Spanish regime, the Sultanate has partially relinquished the exercise of that sovereignty as concerned the part of Jolo and the four other points occupied by Spanish military garrisons; a temporal sovereignty, partial but nevertheless, de facto, and was recognized by the Bates Treaty in the term Government of the Sultan to which American authorities were by that agreement required to turn over for trial, cases where crimes and offenses are committed by Moros against Moros.” – Preamble, Carpenter Memorandum, March 22, 1915. Despite these officially documented recognition by the United States Government with respect to the sovereignty and independence of Sulu Sultanate for more than four hundred (400)
- 11 years before the occupation of Sulu by the American forces, this Islamic monarch which was not conquered and colonized by Spain was fraudulently sold and ceded to the United States under Article III of the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris as part of the colony of Spain technically described as the Philippine Islands without the knowledge and express consent of the reigning Sultan, Royal Datus, and adherents for $ 20-million. This commercial and political transaction between Spain and the United States to our firm conviction contracted and breached three universally recognized and accepted principles stipulated in the Law of Treaties, namely, the “PACTA SUNT SERVANDA RULE, FREE CONSENT AND GOOD FAITH.” As a result of this irregular and obviously anomalous sale and cession of the Sultanate of Sulu by Spain to the United States, the American forces intruded into the sovereign waters of this Islamic State on May 19, 1899 which in our honest opinion violated the Law of War, Law of Nations, International Diplomacy, and most especially the 1787 U.S. Constitution resulting in the impairment of the national integrity of this sovereign state for it was not at war with the United States neither was the Sultanate of Sulu component of the First Philippine Republic. VII. SULU SULTANATE WAS NOT AT WAR WITH THE UNITED STATES AND NOT A POLITICAL AND MILITARY COMPONENT OF THE FIRST PHILIPPINE REPUBLIC WHICH DECLARED WAR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON FEBRUARY 4, 1899 While it is a well established historical fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was for more than three hundred years fought ferociously and valiantly against Spanish conquest and colonization, this sovereign territory and unconquered Islamic Kingdom was not at war with the United States neither was the component of the revolutionary forces of the Dictatorial Government of President Emilio F. Aguinaldo who fought a war of insurrection against the Crown of Spain and then on February 4, 1899 declared war against the United States. The Sultanate of Sulu was not covered by the declaration of war of the United States against Spain for it was not colonial possession of the Spanish Crown. The Sultanate of Sulu was not also part of the theater of war between the United States and the First Philippine Republic under the Presidency of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo for this Islamic Monarch was not organic component of the Revolutionary Army of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo. By the very fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was not colonial possession of Spain and not component of the First Philippines Republic under the Presidency of Gen. Emilio F. Aguinaldo who declared war with the United States, there was absolutely no military necessity nor justification for this Islamic State to be invaded and occupied eventually by the American forces without a separate declaration of war by the U.S. Congress as explicitly required in the 1787 American Constitution, which prohibits a war of conquest, unless actually invaded, to wit: “To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal and make Rules Concerning Captures on land and water.” and “To define and punish piracies and Felonies committed on the high seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations.” – Article 1, Section 8 of the 1787 U.S. Constitution Article 1, Section 8 (10). “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit delay.” – Article 1, Section 10(3)
- 12 Shortly after the sneak invasion and occupation of the Sultanate of Sulu by the American forces, the Sultan of Sulu was pressured to sign an agreement otherwise referred to as the Bates Treaty, wherein he was asked to acknowledge the sovereignty of the United States over the Sultanate of Sulu which only officially and documentarily negated its sale and cession to the United States by Spain under the December 10, 1898 Treaty of Paris. The Bates Treaty is the most authentic and valid document which explicitly attests and confirms that the Sultanate of Sulu was still belonging to the sovereign and proprietary rights of the Sulu people – Tau Sug up to the present since the Bates Treaty was unilaterally abrogated by the United States President without the concurrence and consent of the other party in interest, the Sultan of Sulu, as explicitly stipulated in its Preamble to wit: “Between Brigadier-General John C. Bates, representing the United States, of the one part; and his highness, the Sultan of Jolo, the Dato Raja Muda, the Dato Attik, the Dato Calbi, and the Dato Joakanain of the other part; it being understood that this agreement will be in full force only when approved by the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands and confirmed by the President of the United States and will be subject to future modification by the mutual consent of the parties in interest.” – Preamble, Bates Treaty, August 20, 1899. VIII. SULU WAS NOT A COMPONENT PART OF PHILIPPINES ISLANDS ADMINISTERED BY THE PHILIPPINES COMMISSION Aside from the preceding authorities, references, and officially documented and archived historical documents attesting and confirming in no uncertain terms that the Sultanate of Sulu was not conquered and therefore, not colonial possession of the Spanish Crown, two other top US Government officials also declared that territories that were then inhabited by the Moros and nonChristian Tribes were not to be included in the political jurisdiction of the Philippines Islands under the administration and control of the Philippine Commission, quoted hereunder: “Resolved, by the Philippine Commission in a formal session duly assembled, that it, said Philippine Commission, do hereby certify and it does hereby certify to the President of the United States that for a period of two years after the completion and publication of the census, a condition of general and complete peace, with recognition of the authority of the United States, has continued to exist and now exists in the territory of said Philippine Islands not inhabited by the Moros or other non-Christian Tribes.” – From the Proclamation issued by the American Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, James F. Smith, done at the City of Manila on April 1, 1907. “Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, the President of the United States, in pursuance of law above-cited and being satisfied of the facts being certified to me by the Philippine Commission, do hereby direct to call a general election for the choice of delegates to a popular assembly of the people of the territory of the Philippine Islands not inhabited by Moros or other non-Christian tribes, which shall be known as the Philippine Assembly.” – Theodore Roosevelt, the White House, March 28, 1907 as quoted in the Proclamation issued by Governor-General of the Philippine Islands James F. Smith on April 1, 1907. Sulu Sultanate was unilaterally and unconstitutionally joined with Mindanao Sultanate by virtue of Philippine Commission Act No. 2408 notwithstanding these officially documented attestations and declaration of top American Officials that Mindanao and Sulu were not component parts of the Philippine Islands. The Americans continued the unlawful occupation and imposition of American sovereignty over the Sultanate of Sulu and proceeded to create the Department of Mindanao and Sulu by virtue of Philippines Commission Act No. 2408 providing for Temporary
- 13 Government of Mindanao and Sulu as a separate political subdivision from the Philippines Islands known as the Department of Mindanao and Sulu without the express consent of their reigning Sultans, their Royal Datus, and their respective adherents and in contravention to the universal right of the peoples to self-determination as enshrined in the Law of Nations and specifically under Article IV, Section 3 of the United States 1787 Constitution which explicitly states that: “New states maybe admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new states shall be formed or created within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states without the consent of the states concerned as well as the Congress.” Inferentially, to attain the grand objective to place the Sultanate of Sulu under the total political and military control of the Americans, the Sultan of Sulu, Mohammad Jamalul Kiram II, under circumstances of intimidation, coercion, and force, was made to sign the Carpenter Memorandum divesting him of his temporal powers not realizing that under the Islamic doctrine of statehood, the ecclesiastical and temporal powers of the Sultan are one and indivisible unlike the principle of the separation of Church and State governing democracy-founded political systems in many Western countries. IX. SULU LEADERS ORIGINAL PETITION THAT SULU ARCHIPELAGO BE MADE A PERMANENT AMERICAN TERRITORY (JUNE 19, 1921) On June 9, 1921, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II and fifty seven (57) prominent Sulu Muslim leaders (including few foreigners), declared in a petition to the United States Government that “it is the desire of the people of Sulu that the Sulu Archipelago be made a permanent American territory” which, was unfortunately brushed off, set aside and totally ignored by the American dispensation of that period. (Forbes II, 1928: 47, 4775-486) In earnest pursuit of the desire of the Sulu Sultanate people to be made a permanent American territory or to be free, again Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, in 1924, signed a “Declaration of Rights and Purposes” which was placed on official record of the United States Congress in 1926 and gained widespread support but eventually taken for granted and suffered the same tragic and unfortunate fate like the petition of June 9, 1921. The Declaration partly states: “that in the event that the United States grants independence to the Philippines Islands without provision for our retention under the American flag, it is our firm intention and resolved to declare ourselves an independent constitutional Sultanate to be known to the world as the Moro Nation.” – Congressional Record, 1926, 8836. In a parallel move to prevent the eventual annexation and incorporation of Mindanao and Sulu to the body politic of the Philippines under the proposed 1935 Philippine Constitution as mandated by the Tydings-McDuffie Law, otherwise known as, the Philippine Independence Act of 1934 providing for a 10-year transition period as Commonwealth Government before the final grant of self-government to the Philippines, on March 18, 1935, a historic assembly of more than 100 Maranao leaders passed a strongly-worded Manifesto known as the Dansalan Declaration addressed to the United States President vehemently opposing the annexation of the Moro Homeland to the Republic of the Philippines upon proclamation of its independence and self-government on July 4, 1946 in compliance with the Tydings-McDuffie Law.
- 14 Despite the said petition of the reigning Sultan and 57 prominent Sulu Muslim leaders on June 9, 1921 and reiterated under the Declaration of Rights and Purposes in 1924 signed by Sultan Jamalul Kiram II for the Sultanate of Sulu to be either made a permanent American territory or to remain as a constitutional Sultanate to be known to the world as the Moro nation, the Sultanates of Sulu and Mindanao were still incorporated to the body politic of the Philippines Republic when the United States granted self-government and independence on July 4, 1946; unceremoniously disregarded and completely suppressed the Bangsa Sug people’s rights to self-determination and independence. X. ELEVATION OF THE SULTANATE OF SULU PETITION TO THE UNITED NATIONS FOR IMMEDIATE DECOLONIZATION AND FULL RESTORATION OF HER STATEHOOD CONSISTENT WITH ORIGINAL PETITION OF JUNE 9, 1921 The unilateral and arbitrary incorporation of the State of Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam to the Philippines under the 1935 Constitution based on Article III of the Treaty of Paris, virtually made Sultanate of Sulu as internal colony of the Philippines Islands for the primary purpose of providing a legal mechanism for the acquisition of Philippine citizenship for those native inhabitants who could not come within the provisions of Section 2 of the Jones Law, since Sultanate of Sulu was not colonial possession of Spain and therefore, her people were not Spanish subjects, (which was the legal requirement prescribed under the said Section 2 of the Jones Law to be considered as Filipino citizens), are grossly inconsistent with the democratic philosophy upon which the United Nations was founded with the following principles and purposes: (1) To develop friendly relations among nations based on the respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace. (2) To achieve international cooperation in solving international problem of economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, and (3) All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations. In view of these historical chronology of events and circumstances which culminated in the unilateral and arbitrary incorporation of the State of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam to the body politic of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946 under the 1935 Philippine Constitution pursuant to the Tydings-MsDuffie Law approved by the United States Congress on March 24, 1934, the Council of Regents – the reigning interim governing body of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam – will, Insha’Allah, collectively petition the United Nations to initiate appropriate legal, judicial and/or other peaceful means, in accordance with the international law, to recognize, respect and uphold the will of the people of the Sultanate of Sulu, in the exercise of their rights to self-determination and independence.
- 15 XI. GIVING SUBSTANCE TO THE UNITED NATIONS RESOLUTIONS OR INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS RECOGNIZING THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION The United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV)) of December 14, 1960, also known as, the “Declaration on Decolonization” is requesting all member states to end colonization and to grant independence to colonial countries and peoples, in accordance with the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. The Resolution ends with the following statement: “All states shall observe faithfully and strictly the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the present Declaration on the basis of equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of a state, and respect for the sovereign rights of all peoples and their territorial integrity.” In line with the letter and spirit of the United Nations’ adopted an action plan - the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010) pursuant to the mandate under United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514-XV – the “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples”, is even more just and appropriate for the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam. Thus, ultimate decolonization and full restoration of the statehood of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam is highly sought by the proper party with legal personality – the Bangsa Sug people – in the soonest possible time. We fervently pray that our petition be expeditiously and judiciously acted in accordance with the international law and under the auspices of the United Nations. The Bangsa Sug people of the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam have for centuries struggled for their right to self-determination. They have fought the Spaniards who tried to subdue Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam and managed to defend and even signed treaties with Spain and other sovereign States like Great Britain, China, the United States of America and Holland among others. Once the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam could exercise freely and independently her right to self-determination, peace building processes would proceed smoothly which will, consequently, hasten economic progress, development and genuine peace. On the other hand, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which provide that, “All peoples have the right of self-determination” are making stronger and reinforcing State of Sulu Sultanate’s right to independence. As a member of the family of nations as well as being signatory to the two International Covenants, the Philippines is duty-bound to recognized, respect and uphold the will of the Bangsa Sug People exercising their right under the international law of self-determination in the interest of truth, rights, justice and international peace and security. XII. INVITATION TO THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY
- 16 We are, for these reasons, earnestly inviting and do welcome international community’s support – humanitarian, legal and/or political.
For more information, please contact: DATU ALBI AHMAD JULKARNAIN Chairman, Council of Regents Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam Concurrent Chairman, Council of Royal Datus Mobile Phone #: +639215591828 ATTY. MELTINO ‘ULUNG’ JAUJAN SIBULAN Legal Counsel Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam Mobile Phone #: +639055909898 ZAKARIA BIN ABDULLAH Secretary General for Foreign Relation Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam Mobile Phone #: +60102540377 DATU JULASRI HAJAD @ HAJAN Official Representative of the Sulu Sultanate in Malaysia Mobile Phone #: +60163472849
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