Filipino Jabidah recruits plotted standoff in Sabah
BY ANGELA CASAUAY
POSTED ON 03/10/2013 12:48 PM | UPDATED 03/11/2013 10:26 PM
TAWI-TAWI, Philippines – They were part of a covert military operation to seize Sabah from Malaysian control in the late 1960s. This time around, they are part of an overt plan to claim it again.
Two of the members of the Royal Sultanate Army – or the Royal Sultanate Force (RSF), as they're commonly known here – who trooped to Sabah on Feb 14, 2013 were among the recruits of the Jabidah commando unit under the secret plot Oplan Merdeka 4 decades ago. (Read: Sabah, Merdeka and Aquino)
Oplan Merdeka (freedom in Bahasa Melayu) was hatched by the Marcos military to send Muslim recruits to invade Sabah in 1968.
The exposed plot soured relations between Manila and Kuala Lumpur, prompting the latter to train and provide sanctuary to rebels belonging to the Moro National Liberation Front.
It is also here, in this picturesque Simunul town lulled by clear waters and white sand, where the Jabidah unit's chief recruiter and trainor, then Army Maj Eduardo Martelino, held initial training for his recruits. He set up a training camp here called Sophia, named after a beautiful Simunul lass he later married.
Two of Martelino's recruits, Musa Abdulla and Ernesto Sambas, were among at least 13 Simunul residents who boarded two ships to Lahad Datu, along with about 200 of their comrades, last February 14.
The two were able to escape from Corregidor Island in 1968 before the military shot dead their fellow recruits in what is now known as the Jabidah massacre, that lit the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao.
Today, Musa and Sambas are said to have cut off communication with their families in Simunul. Did they survive the Malaysian military offensive in Lahad Datu? Or were they among the reported 60 casualties in the Sabah standoff? No one here knows.
Although they share a common past, Abdullah and Sambas have different stories to tell.
Musa is the known military strategist of the gunmen in Sabah.
On the other hand, Sambas is a frustrated soldier who had tried in vain to return to service. He was the first Jabidah recruit from Simunul to be commissioned by the military as an officer with the rank of 2nd lieutenant, according to the book "Under the Crescent Moon: Rebellion in Mindanao" by Marites Dañguilan Vitug and Glenda M. Gloria that was first published in 1999.
While Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, an heir of the Sultan of Sulu, is the known leader of the armed Filipinos now on the run in Sabah, it was really Musa who mapped out the plan behind the Sabah standoff, Simunul residents told Rappler. (Read: Raja Muda escapes arrest)
Now in his 60s, Musa is the deputy chief of staff of the RSF, a rank below Raja Muda, they added.
After the botched Merdeka plan, Musa retired from the military. It's unclear what he did for a living in the succeeding years. Somewhere in between, he became the deputy chief of staff of the RSF.
Simunul Mayor Nazif Ahmad Abdurahman said Musa lived a retiree’s life. He would farm every now and then and was often seen buying fish from the port on early mornings. Musa’s wife, Aurelia, is the principal of Simunul Elementary School.
Musa’s home, a tattered wooden abode with a run-down car parked in a makeshift garage, is located by the side of the RSF camp in Simunul. From his house, he would have a good view of the entire camp, especially the meeting area where RSF members held regular meetings before the standoff.
Ibnohasim Akmad, an RSF member from Sulu, said Musa is their more visible leader, not Raja Muda.
Akmad, who was left behind when the group went to Sabah, said that during his one-month stay before the Sabah standoff, Raja Muda – who lives in Barangay Tubig Indangan, a kilometer away from the camp -- only visited their camp "sometimes."
It was Musa, Akmad said, who taught them about “military rules.”
“He just taught us certain formation then we were briefed about rules and regulations about the military, how to do it as military, how to follow military laws,” Akmad said.
Akmad refused to provide details of their “trainings," but denied these included firing guns.
He said goodbye
Musa’s wife, Aurelia, said he told her about their plan before the group left for Sabah.
“The truth is, he said goodbye. Even if I didn’t want him to go, I can’t do anything about it,” she said in Filipino over the phone.
COMMANDER'S HOME. Musa Abdulla, deputy chief of the Royal Sultanate Forces, lives within the camp. Photo by Karlos Manlupig
Like most Tawi-Tawi residents, it was not the first time that Musa had gone to Sabah. Aurelia said Musa had gone to Sabah twice this year to visit his siblings in Lahad Datu.
At the height of the second Malaysian assault on Lahad Datu on March 5, a police official told us: “Kapag si Musa ang nawala o nahuli, wala na, dun na mabubuwag iyan, (If Musa dies or is captured, that’s when the forces will be defeated)."
Musa’s wife said she has not talked to Musa since he left because Musa didn’t own a cell phone.
Sambas has a slightly different narrative.
When news broke about the Jabidah massacre on Corregidor Island in 1968, Sambas’ father, a former barangay chairman for 20 years, quickly travelled from Tawi-Tawi to Manila to fetch his son from Fort Bonifacio.They returned to their home in Barangay Manuk Mangkaw on Simunul Island.
FAILED DREAMS. Ernesto Sambas rarely left his home after grudgingly leaving the military. Photo by Karlos Manlupig
“His father brought him home to show our neighbors that he is alive,” Sambas’ wife, Rubia said in Sinama, the language of the Sama.
After Sambas left Fort Bonifacio, he was never able to do what he has always aspired for – to become a soldier again.
A framed certificate that shows Sambas had completed his initial Jabidah military training course hangs on the wall of Sambas' house. Aurelia said his husband served as 2nd lieutenant of the Jabidah commando unit.
"Under the Crescent Moon" tells Sambas' story as the first Jabidah recruit to be commissioned officer by the Army. "[Sambas] remembers that day in 1967 when he saw [then Maj Eduardo] Martelino's recruits jogging on the rugged streets of Simunul. 'They looked like they were having fun.' One morning, Martelino passed by Sambas' house, looking for the latter's father who was then a municipal official. Martelino ended up talking with Sambas who signified his interest in joining the troops he saw."
"It didn't take much on Martelino's part to lure Sambas into joining the Sabah mission. Sambas claimed they were told early on about this plan even while they were still in the training camp in Simunul. He was thrilled by the prospect of becoming a soldier and joining an elite mission at that. In August 1967, Sambas joined Martelino's men in their combat training at Camp Sophia, which overlooked the sea."
Sambas lived his post-Jabidah life hoping that he could one day return to the army.
Promises were made but none pulled through, including one by the late Brig. Gen. Eduardo Batalla, then commander of the Philippine Constabulary in Western Mindanao, whom Sambas’ wife said was his contemporary in the military.
Battalla had supposedly said he would help Sambas return to the military once he became a general. Batalla had reason to make such a promise; he, too, was one of the young officers assigned to train the Muslim recruits on Corregidor Island, according to the book.
But Batalla was slain in Zamboanga City in a 1989 botched operation against gang leader Rizal Ali.
“He became frustrated and disappointed. He suffered from low self-esteem,” Sambas' wife told us.
Sambas spent most of time at home and was never able to get a decent job. None of his 3 kids were able to finish schooling.
At 64, Sambas still held on to his dream of going back to service, and his wife continues to question why none of those who said they would help him ever got back to them.
Unlike Musa, Sambas did not tell his wife that he was going to Sabah. Aurelia said Sambas quietly and hurriedly packed his things on the day of February 14.
“I asked him where he was going but we couldn’t talk to him. He wasn’t answering,” she said.
She only learned about the Sabah standoff after watching TV news, the main source of information for Simunul residents. The family was able to contact Sambas during the first two days of their stay in Sabah.
But they have not heard from him since.
Would Musa and Sambas repeat history and live to tell another Sabah story?Edited by Dalforce 1941 12 Mar `13, 9:11PM
World Leaders Pay Their Final Respects at Chavez's Funeralhttp://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=767&Itemid=74&jumival=9829#.UTyXdtb7Bc0
On the Legacy of Hugo Chávez
Tariq Ali: Hugo Chávez and me
Hugo Chavez's audacious challenge to Western power
After Chavez: there are many flavours to the left in Latin America
The old white elite, with something of an inferiority complex, used to aspire to be Spanish, English, French or, at worst, the United States: they went to bullfights, played golf, drank French wine and did their shopping in Miami. What we really are is a complex jumble of things, not a homogenous continent that can be summed up in sensationalist slogans that make little sense such as "Homeland or death" or "Ever onward until victory."
The Latin American left has itself many different ingredients. All of these lefts (and a few centres and rights) were at Hugo Chávez's funeral, some with genuine tears in their eyes, some concerned with making gestures for their domestic gallery, or to ensure the free oil keeps on coming, or perhaps with the secret satisfaction of seeing the corpse of an old enemy go by...Edited by Dalforce 1941 12 Mar `13, 9:41PM
The current demographics problems are mainly due to the rubbish and garbage population control policies of Harry Lee Kuan Yew.
Women bore brunt of Lee Kuan Yew's draconian population policy
08 March 2013
Chee Siok Chin
Former prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew must take responsibility for the current population issues that Singapore is now facing. The current PAP Government has not acknowledged that it was Mr Lee's miscalculated policy of Stop-At-Two" that has resulted in today's population and immigration woes.
What is more tragic is how this policy had affected women in Singapore. The Stop-At-Two campaign launched in 1972 was aimed at the "less educated and lower income groups" to control Singapore's fast-increasing population then.
What is deplorable were the measures that the Government resorted to in order to discourage Singaporean families from having more than two children. It was women who bore the brunt of Mr Lee's notions and practices.
Women who had given birth to their second child were encouraged to undergo ligation, that is, to tie up fallopian tubes. Women with low-incomes and deemed lowly-educated, were offered seven days' paid leave and $10,000 in cash incentives to voluntarily undergo the procedure.
Mothers who gave birth to a third child were confronted with disincentives such as: civil servants were no longer given maternity leave; maternity hospitals charged progressively higher fees for each additional birth; income tax deductions were eliminated after the second child; third and subsequent children were given a lower priority in the choice of and admission to schools.
In 1984, the Graduate Mothers' Scheme was announced. Mothers who were university graduates were given preferential school admission to children over non-graduate mother. The Government also established a Social Development Unit (SDU) to act as matchmaker for unmarried university graduates. And Social Development Service (SDS) for non-graduates.
The decision to legalise abortion in 1970 was not born out of ethical considerations but to facilitate the Stop-At-Two policy. Singaporeans, especially women, were disempowered and silenced by these draconian practices.
Singapore has come some way from such warped practices against women even if they were not explicitly targets. Despite the patriarchal society that Singapore still is, women here will not be silent about such oppressive conventions.
Many of the problems Singaporeans are experiencing today are a result of the ill-conceived population policies of yesteryear. As a result, the SDP has creatively addressed working solutions that re-empower Singaporeans and make the country less reliant on foreign labour and able to stand on our own.
The Women Democrats has come a long way since its inception in 2001 and we continue to grow and play an integral part in our Party. We will continue to speak up and stand up for Singaporeans – women and men alike.
On this International Women's Day celebrated on 8 March every year, I would like to wish women in Singapore and all over the world empowering and meaningful lives. Happy Women's Day!
Ms Chee Siok Chin is a member of the SDP's Central Executive Committee and Head of women Democrats, SDP's women wing.
Don: Sabah is not the sultanate's
Wednesday March 6, 2013PETALING JAYA: The Sulu Sultanate cannot turn back the pages of history to reclaim Sabah, said prominent historian Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim.
If such a precedent was to be set, then Singapore should be returned to Johor and Penang to Kedah, he said.
“Their (Sulu Sultanate's) claims are difficult to come to terms with as what has been accepted for such a long time cannot be changed,” he added.
“Even if the matter is taken to the International Court, Malaysia would have a better chance of winning as Sabah had been part of the country for a long time.”
Prof Khoo said that although the state was originally part of Sulu, the British North Borneo Company had taken control of North Borneo, now known as Sabah, in 1882.
He said transmigration of Filipinos into Sabah had been ongoing as they felt they belonged to this part of the region although the Malaysian authorities regarded them as illegal immigrants.
“I am surprised why they resorted to arms this time around,” he said.
Institute of Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore Studies director Prof Kamarulnizam Abdullah said the Sulu Sultanate should honour previous agreements in which they ceded the territory to the colonial powers.
“We have inherited agreements made in the past,” he said, adding that social media users and the Opposition in both Malaysia and the Philippines appeared to be provoking the situation in Sabah.
“They appear to be politicising the situation to discredit the governments of the two countries,” he said, adding that the people should reject those who put politics before national sovereignty and security.
In JELEBU, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said that based on international law, Sabah legally belonged to Malaysia and the state and any part of it cannot be claimed by any party.
He cited the Cobbold Commission 1963 findings that the majority of Sabahans agreed for their state to be part of the Federation of Malaysia.
Speaking to reporters after attending an event with prisoners and narcotics rehabilitation centre inmates, Rais said Sabah's entry into Malaysia was a nation-building move and the state's territory could not be claimed by any party after that.Edited by Dalforce 1941 06 Mar `13, 8:27PM
There was the Laju incident.
Venezuela's Hugo Chavez dies of cancer
Posted: 06 March 2013 0603 hrs
CARACAS: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lost his battle with cancer on Tuesday, his death silencing the leading voice of the Latin American left and plunging his oil-rich nation into an uncertain future.
Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who struggled to stifle tears as he announced Chavez's passing, said the government had deployed the armed forces and police "to accompany and protect our people and guarantee the peace."
Chavez had named Maduro as his heir, but the Venezuelan opposition is sure to press for fresh elections and tensions have been mounting over government allegations that its domestic rivals are in league with its foreign foes.
Shortly before Chavez's death was announced, senior officials had accused Venezuela's enemies of somehow giving the 58-year-old leftist the cancer that eventually killed him, and two US military attaches were expelled.
Chavez was showered with tributes by Latin American leaders, not just his leftist allies but also world figures like Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, who hailed him as a "great Latin American" and "a friend of the Brazilian people."
US President Barack Obama pledged the United States to support the "Venezuelan people" and describing Chavez's passing as a "challenging time."
"As Venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the United States remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights," Obama said in a short written statement.
He nevertheless expressed hope that US-Venezuelan relations would improve.
Under the constitution, elections must be held within 30 days and National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello must take over as caretaker, but Chavez had urged Venezuelans to back Maduro if he was unable to continue.
Die-hard Chavista partisans gathered in Caracas' Plaza Bolivar -- named after the independence hero whose legacy Chavez co-opted for his Bolivarian Revolution -- weeping, waving portraits and chanting his name.
One of Chavez's daughters, 32-year-old Maria Gabriela, wrote on Twitter: "I'm lost for words. Eternally, THANK YOU! Strength! We must follow his example. We must continue building the FATHERLAND! Farewell my daddy!"
Soldiers brought the Venezuelan flag down to half-staff at the Caracas military hospital, where senior figures in Chavez's 14-year-old administration gathered before the cameras of state television to break the news.
"We have received the toughest and tragic information that... comandante President Hugo Chavez died today at 4:25 pm," Maduro said.
"Long live Chavez!" the officials shouted at the end of his announcement.
Defence Minister Diego Molero, surrounded by top military officers, said the armed forces would defend the constitution and respect Chavez's wishes.
Chavez had checked into the hospital on February 18 for a course of chemotherapy after spending two months in Cuba, where in December he had undergone his fourth round of cancer surgery since June 2011.
The once ubiquitous symbol of Latin America's "anti-imperialist" left disappeared from public view after he was flown to Cuba on December 10, an unprecedented absence from the public eye that fuelled all manner of rumours.
The government sent mixed signals about the president's health for weeks, warning one day that he was battling for his life, yet insisting as recently as last weekend that he was still in charge and giving orders.
The opposition repeatedly accused the government of lying about the president's condition.
A new election could offer another shot at the presidency to Henrique Capriles, the opposition leader who lost to Chavez in October. He took to Twitter to call for unity.
"My solidarity is with the entire family and followers of President Hugo Chavez, we call for Venezuelan unity at this moment," Capriles wrote.
Chavez will be mourned by many of the country's poor, who revered the self-styled revolutionary for using the country's oil riches to fund popular housing, health, food and education programs.
Like-minded Latin American leaders like Cuba's Raul Castro, Ecuador's Rafael Correa and Bolivia's Evo Morales lost a close friend who used his diplomatic muscle and cheap oil to shore up their rule.
Chavez died five months after winning an October election, overcoming public frustration over a rising murder rate, regular blackouts and soaring inflation.
The opposition had accused Chavez of misusing public funds for his campaign and dominating the airwaves while forcing government workers to attend rallies through intimidation.
He missed his swearing-in for a new six-year term on January 10, but the Supreme Court approved an indefinite delay.
First elected in 1998, Chavez had since worked to consolidate his power and make his revolution "irreversible."
But his policies drove a wedge into Venezuelan society, alienating the wealthy with expropriations while wooing the poor with social handouts.
The Indian peranakans of Malaysia
Hakka peranakans like Harry Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong can become prime ministers of Singapore. Indians cannot be prime minister of Singapore.
What about indian peranakans? Can they be prime ministers of Singapore?Edited by Dalforce 1941 02 Mar `13, 2:39PM
On the racist views of the grand master of asia, peranakan baba Harry Kuan Yew:
"Three women were brought to the Singapore General Hospital, each in the same
condition and needing a blood transfusion. The first, a Southeast Asian was given the
transfusion but died a few hours later. The second, a South Asian was also given a
transfusion but died a few days later. The third, an East Asian, was given a
transfusion and survived. That is the X factor in development."
- Harry Lee Kuan Yew
Lee Kuan Yew: Race, Culture and Genes
Indians cannot be prime minister of Singapore says asian grand master peranakan baba Harry Lee Kuan Yew:
Were you a candidate for the top job?
I was considered as a member of the group. At that time, we did not know who would be the successor to Lee. We finally made the decision to pick Goh Chok Tong. He agreed on condition that I agreed to be his number two. So I was the second DPM; he was the first DPM. In 1988, Lee asked Goh to take over, but he was not ready. He said: two more years. So two years later, he took the job.
Lee did not agree with your decision to pick Goh.
No, he did not disagree. He said he would leave it to us. His own first choice was Tony Tan. Goh Chok Tong was his second choice.
I was his third choice because he said my English was not good enough.
He said Dhanabalan was not right because Singapore was not ready for an Indian prime minister. That upset the Indian community. There was quite a bit of adverse reaction to what he said. But he speaks his mind. He is the only one who can get away with it.Edited by Dalforce 1941 02 Mar `13, 2:11PM
Originally posted by gobDestroyer:
Although, state government has more authority than federal government in India, it's just the way it operates.
He is just the ruler of a tiny city state after all. He has no experience whatsoever of ruling a big country with multiple huge cities, local governments and huge provinces.
He is just a frog in a well.
“Who is this ridiculous man who wastes my time? Running Singapore is like running Marseilles. I am running a whole country!”
-Francois Mitterrand, President of France
“A little Emperor … of a tiny Middle Kingdom.”
“All those who met the great man from the little country were lectured on how Malaysia should be run.”
“Singapore is a tiny country. Don’t talk big.”
- Mahathir Mohamed, Prime Minister of Malaysia
PAP also got rid of the old Singapore city council. Lee Kuan Yew cannot tolerate other centres of power outside of his control. He needs total control.
City Council of SingaporeEdited by Dalforce 1941 02 Mar `13, 1:54PM
Originally posted by Computers70mmmm:
I really feel I just just do it, tham constantly thinking about it.
No, you can't.
Suicide is the most cowardly thing to do. That is very disrespectful and selfish of you to your family and parents.
Your mother took 9 months to give birth to you.
Your parents will want to see you get married and live happily ever after, and to let them have a chance to carry their grandchildren in their arms.
To live is to show filial piety to your mother and father.
If you die, you will cause sadness, tears and heartpain to your mother.
If you commit suicide, SAF will not pay any compensation to your family and the cost of the funeral due to it is an dishonourable action. Your family will even have to out money themselves to pay for the funeral, urn, cremation, burial and final resting place.
Your mother will cry her heart out.Edited by eac 02 Mar `13, 1:52AM
Originally posted by Mr Milo:
and what this professor is saying is bloody bullshit!
So did he oppose the ultimate supreme grand master of asia's "stop at 2" policy during 1970s?Edited by Dalforce 1941 06 Mar `13, 7:43PM