MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has finished its investigation into the failed attempt by over 200 armed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III to reclaim Sabah in February.
In an interview on Tuesday, June 4, NBI Deputy Director for Regional Operations Virgilio Mendez said that they had submitted the report to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.
De Lima earlier announced that it is up to President Benigno Aquino III to release the findings to the public.
The investigation was aimed at determining who should be held liable for the standoff, which was caused by the entry into Sabah by Kiram' men.
In Feburary 2013, about 80-100 followers of Kiram, who claimed to be a "descendant of the Sultan of Sulu," were cornered by Malaysian authorities in Sabah on Borneo Island. The group demanded to be recognized as the Royal Sulu Sultanate Army and insisted that, as subjects of the sultanate, they should be allowed to remain in Sabah.
Kiram's group staged the operation to stake their claim on Sabah but the Philippine government maintained that the territorial dispute should not be resolved by taking up arms.
President Aquino earlier said the standoff was a "propaganda war" and parties involved should talk about the problem peacefully.
"We've all fought for something… but it should be for the right cause. It starts not from anger towards others, but for the rights of others," Aquino said. – Rappler.com