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World | National

'FOR DIGNITY AND HONOR' | Sulu sultan denies royal army in Sabah paid

Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III being interviewed as comedian Tado and a group he led to offer support to the sultan look on in the background. (photo by Bernard Testa,
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III on Wednesday denied offering money to fighters of the Royal Sulu Army for them to join his brother in going to Sabah to press their claim to the territory.

Kiram said he did not have the funds to pay the more than 200 followers who went with Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram to Sabah early last month.

After a lengthy standoff with Malaysian security forces in Tanduo village in Lahad Datu, fighting erupted last Friday. And on Tuesday, Malaysian forces mounted a massive attack against the sultanate’s followers.

However, as of Wednesday, security officials in Sabah acknowledged that their forces continued to look for Agbimuddin’s group and had expanded the search area.

"Ang sultanate handang magpakamatay. Hindi nasusuhulan (The sultanate is ready to die and cannot be bought)," Kiram said, reacting to reports about the money offer.

"Karangalan lang ang tinatanggap nila (Honor is the only thing they get). Dignity and honor," the sultan said.