SULTANATE OF SULU,
THE CURRENT 35TH SULTAN OF SULU & SABAH
HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I
SROHS, SROS, SRSS, SRK, SRM
The Sultan of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah
“The Spaniards never subdued the inhabitants who they called ‘Moros’, they were a fiercely independent people.” New Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. II, Copyright 1989, p. 381.
His Majesty Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram (29th Reigning Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo/ Sabah from 1863 to 1881 — the Sultan who leased Sabah to a British company in 1878, was the father of HM Sultan Badaruddin Kiram II (Sultan 1881 to 1886), HM Jamalul Kiram II (Sultan 1893 to 1936) and HM Sultan Mawallil Kiram (Sultan in 1936) receiving a French official delegation to discuss the terms of the Sale or Rental Agreement of the Island of Basilan with the Crown Prince and some Royal Datus and Cabinet Ministers. (Source: Royal Family Archives)
HISTORIC MEETING OF HM SULTAN FUAD I AND HM SULTAN HASSANAL BOLKIAH WITH PHILIPPINE PRESIDENT GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO
The Sultanate of Sulu was never conquered by Spain that is why it is known to the world as the “Unconquered Kingdom,” whose Tausug warriors stood by valiantly with their Sultans of Brunei and Sulu against the Spanish invasion for hundreds of years.
In Mindanao, in the southern part of the Philippines, there were three major sultanates established and organized by missionaries from Arabia or Brunei. They were the Sultanate of Sulu, Sultanate of Maguindanao and the Sultanate of Buayan.
The history of the Sultanate of Sulu is inextricably linked to the Sultanate of Brunei, firstly as two kingdoms major alliance in the protection of their Islamic territories in the Philippines against the invasion and conquest and spread of Catholicism by Spain at the beginning of 1521 up to the defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War in 1898 and, secondly the Sultans of Sulu and the Sultans of Brunei are related by blood as family.
From 1473 to 1690, a span of 217 years, and some years thereafter the Sultanate of Brunei and Sultanate of Sulu were closely knitted as one great empire wherein Brunei and Sulu royalties, noblemen and prominent citizens of the two kingdoms intermarried and intermingled that created a unique blend of Bruneian-Tausug cultures and traditions so pervasive and palpable even today. The history of the Sultanate of Sulu started in 1405 when King Baguinda founded the single sovereign Kingdom of Sulu that was closely related to the Sri Vijayan and Madjapahit empires. It was also at this time that the Royal Order of Sulu was founded by King Baguinda to honor well-deserving individuals who rendered meritorious services to the kingdom.
In 1417, King Paduka Batara of Sulu signed a most favored nation treaty with Ming Chinese Emperor Yung Lo showing Sulu rose to prominence as a sovereign kingdom as recognized by China at an early stage.
In 1450, a Johore-born Arab missionary, Sharieful Hashem Abu Bakr, arrived in Sulu from Melaka. He married Princess Parmaisuli, daughter of King Baguinda, and founded the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu in 1457. He declared himself HM Paduka Maulana Mahasari Sharif Sultan Hashem Abu Bakr, Royal Hashemite Sultan of Sulu, of the Saudi House of Hashemite in Hadramaut, where most Tausug and Yakan believed Prophet Mohammad’s genealogy is traced. Sulu was the first Sultanate established in Mindanao in 1457 that continued uninterrupted to our modern day.
HM Sultan Sharieful Hashem Abu Bakr (pronounced Abubakar) ruled from 1457 to 1480 and was succeeded by his second son HM Sultan Kamal ud-Din being proclaimed by the Royal Datus and the Sharifs as “the most capable and most suitable” among the male heirs of the deceased Reigning Sultan. Islam was the predominant religion prior to the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521 but Islam and the Muslim community in the Philippines diminished in numbers due to the continuing territorial expansion and conquest of Spain together with the spread of Roman Catholicism in many parts of the Philippines starting from Cebu, Bohol, Manila, Luzon, Visayas and some parts of Mindanao. The Philippines, prior to the arrival of the Spaniards, was a Muslim dominion ruled by Muslim royal princes as joint vassals of the Sultan of Brunei (up to 1690) and the Sultan of Sulu. From 1521, the Muslim princes under the joint rule of the Sultan of Brunei and Sultan of Sulu fought the invasion of Spain like Rajah Lapu-Lapu who killed Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 on the island of Mactan and Rajah Suleiman in Manila (Crown Prince of Brunei), who fiercely defended his Muslim royal capital of May Nilad (Manila), though he succumbed to the superior firepower from the invading forces of Spain under the command of the first governor general Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi.
The word Rajah when used hereto shall also mean “Pengiran” in the Sultanate of Brunei and “Datu” in the Sultanate of Sulu stressing the point that Rajah is a Muslim royal prince.
For clarity, listed below are some events elucidating the family blood relation links between the Sultan of Brunei and the Sultan of Sulu coupled with vital historical occurrences relating to the Sultanate of Sulu and Sultanate of Brunei and the Spanish conquest of the Philippines:
HM SULTAN SHARIEFUL HASHEM ABU BAKR (1457 – 1480)
1457 – HM Sultan Sharieful Hashem Abu Bakr ruled as the first Royal Hashemite Sultan of Sulu and was succeeded by his second son HM Sultan Kamal ud-Din being proclaimed by the Royal Datus and the Sharifs as “the most capable and most suitable” among the royal male heirs of the deceased Reigning Sultan. This rule of succession is the fundamental law in the enthronement of the Sultan of Sulu stressing the proclamation must be fulfilled by the Royal Datus and the Sharifs due to these reasons: the Sultan is a Royal Datu prior to becoming Sultan and he is a Sharif – like the first Sultan.
1470 – Muslim conquest of the Madjapahit Empire.
1473-1521 – Brunei’s golden age under the able and wise rule of HM Sultan Nakhoda Ragam Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, that realized expansion of Brunei’s hegemony and territories to include North Borneo/ Sabah, Sarawak, Indonesia, Balabac, Banggi and Palawan islands, and the new Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu. This was the height of Brunei’s ascendancy as overlord of the Great Brunei-Sulu Sultanates that lasted to the end of the reign of Brunei Sultan Bongsu Muhyuddin in 1690. From 1691 thereafter, the royal powers reverted back to the succeeding Sultans of Sulu. Three chroniclers wrote historical accounts of Brunei in 1505 to1507: Ludovico di Vartenna an Italian, Barbarossa of Spain 1517 and Antonio Pigafetta in 1521 — the Italian chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan. They found Brunei as a heavily fortified kingdom with castles and moats in various locations similar to European strongholds capable of thwarting the invasion of any army at the time.
– The first recorded family relation and bond between the Royal House of Brunei and the Royal House of Sulu & Sabah occurred when HM Sultan Nakhoda Ragam Bolkiah, Sultan of Brunei, married the grand daughter of HM Sultan Sharieful Hashem Abu Bakr, Sultan of Sulu.
HM Sultan Kamal ud-Din (1480-1519), second son of HM Sultan Sharieful Hashem Abu Bakr
1509 – The first Portuguese settlement was established in Melaka by a Bengali Putih and Diego Lopez de Sequeira with a squadron of five Portuguese battle ships and it was said that Ferdinand Magellan (the Philippines’ discoverer) was a member of this expedition.
1511 – Alfonso de Albuquerque, a Portuguese buccaneer/ pirate captured Melaka from de Sequeira and reported Sulu trading vessels anchored in Melaka port.
1512 – First reported landing of Portuguese sailors on Mindanao that is a puzzle to historians why Portugal did not claim Mindanao as a colony.
HM Sultan Amir ul-Umara Mu’izzul Mutawa Din (1519-1579)
1520 – Francisco Combe, a Jesuit historian, reported of an unnamed Muslim Sharif who propagated Islam to Jolo but died at Bud Tumangtangis. His magnificent tomb was comparable to those in Mecca but, unfortunately, the Manila Spaniards burned it to the ground.
1521 – During the reign of HM Sultan Nakhoda Ragam Bolkiah (Sultan of Brunei), Antonio Pigafetta de Vicenza (the Italian chronicler of Ferdinand Magellan) was said to have visited the Brunei Sultan’s Royal Court. The Spaniards, while cruising along the Bornean coast, captured Rajah Matanda of May Nilad (Manila) who was a grandson of then reigning Brunei Sultan and nephew to Brunei Rajah Muda/ Crown Prince (Rajah Suleiman to Filipinos). Rajah Suleiman was a son-in-law of Brunei Sultan Abdul Kahar and this incident could have precipitated his suspicions on the lust for conquest and invasion intentions of white men as he was to meet them again in the Battle of May Nilad in 1570.
March 16, 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer under the employ of the Spanish Crown, (a.k.a. Fernao Magalhaes and Fernando de Magallanes) arriving on five vessels that included Trinidad (Magellan, skipper), San Antonio (Juan de Cartagena), Concepcion (Gaspar de Quesada), Victoria (Luis de Mendoza), and Santiago (Juan Serrano) and a total of two hundred sixty-four (264) crew members discovered Archipelago San Lazaro (present day Samar Island in the Philippines).
– As testimony to their “discovery”, Magellan and his men then erected a wooden cross and claimed for the Spanish Crown the Archipelago San Lazaro, named after Saint Lazarus’ feast day (March 16).
March 18, 1521 – Magellan, including his wife’s cousin Duarte Barbosa, cosmographer Andres de San Martin, and Pigafetta landed on an uninhabited island known as Homonhon where they were met by friendly inhabitants from neighboring islands who brought food and ‘tuba’ (a coconut water fermented wine), and were entertained for that day.
March 24, 1521 – Magellan, travelling southeast, weighed anchor in Masawa on Mindanao Island where Masawa Rajah Kolambu was entertaining his visiting brother, Rajah Siagu of Butuan. The two Rajahs made the first traditional blood compact with foreigners in which the visiting dignitary and host would drink each other’s blood mixed with the native wine ‘tuba.’
– According to Mindanao folklore, Pernao Magalhao founded this Manobo-tribeland where Rajah Siagu was already the ruling chief. Magalhao may have also anchored at Sulu for we find Pigafetta describing the King of Jolo.
April 6, 1521 – The first Roman Catholic mass was celebrated on Philippine soil at Masawa (some claims Limasawa in Leyte as the rightful place) which fortunately fell on Easter Sunday of Jubilation by Magellan’s ship-chaplain, Pedro de Valderrama.
– Magellan’s ship was piloted by Masawa Rajah Kolambu to Cebu island where Cebu Rajah Humabon received them and sealed yet another blood compact.
April 13, 1521 – Before Magellan and his party, Cebu Rajah Humabon together with his family and 800 Sugboanons (Cebuanos) converted to Roman Catholicism. Rajah Humabon immediately declared the “enemies of the church” the increasing Muslim community on Mactan island headed by Kaliph Pulaka (Rajah Lapu-Lapu to Filipinos).
April 27, 1521 – With forty-eight (48) men in full armor, Magellan ploughed ashore on Mactan island but were stopped by poisoned arrows of Lapu-Lapu’s men. (This encounter is now known in the Philippine history as the “Battle of Mactan” and established Lapu-Lapu a Muslim prince as hero of the Philippines against foreign invaders. That is why today, as a sign of further recognition of Lapu-Lapu’s heroism, his picture occupies the central position on the symbol and coat of arms of the Philippine National Police).
June 9, 1522 – Juan Sebastian del Cano successfully returned to Sevilla in Spain via the Tidorein Maluka (present day Moluccas), navigating Magellan’s only remaining vessel La Victoria with eighteen (18) men and 533 hundred-weight cloves on board; Juan Sebastian del Cano, as per world history, was the first man to have ever completed the circumnavigation of the globe.
1523-1542 – Via the route taken by Magellan, three (3) other expeditions (Barbosa, de Loaisa and de Saavedra) from Mexico attempted to reach the Philippines but failed.
November 1, 1542 – Ruy Lopez de Villalobos commanding six (6) ships from Navida, Mexico on orders from Don Antonio de Mendoza, viceroy of Nueva España (present day Mexico), who reached Sarangani islands in 1543 and named his “discovery” Las Islas Filipinas to honor the son of King Charles of Spain, Philip II.
– Captain Bernardo de la Torre was sent by de Villalobos to survey the coast of Kota Bato but died there and the Portuguese navy stationed in Maluka captured his crew in Sarangani.
November 21, 1564 – Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, a 54-year old Basque nobleman from a small town of Zumarraga, Guipuzcoa, Navarra, Spain and a former civil governor of Mexico City, was commissioned by a Nueva España viceroy, Don Luis de Velasco, on orders of the King of Spain to subjugate Las Islas Filipinas (Philippines) after five (5) unsuccessful expedition attempts.
1565-1663 – Fourth Stage of Muslims Wars Against Spanish Conquest
February 1565 – de Legazpi, the first Spanish governor general of the Philippines, was called El Viejo and El Adelantado, arrived on Samar island on board his flagship Capitana piloted by seasoned navigator-priest Andres Urdaneta who was earlier with the 1525 expedition of Fray Garcia Jofre de Loaiza.
April 1565 – Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, upon his arrival on Bohol island, executed the traditional blood compact with Bohol Rajah Sikatuna and Rajah Sigala to show his sincerity and friendship to the two Muslim princes and their people. This was done by de Legazpi as he needed these two princes and their men to augment his army and to secure supplies for his troops.
May 1565 – After a brief combat with remnants of the Humabon and Lapu-Lapu warriors that were later incorporated into his mercenary army, de Legazpi established the first Spanish settlement in Cebu with the assistance of the two (2) Bohol Rajahs, Sikatuna and Sigala, proving his blood compact was an astute decision because he gained two substantial allies to colonize the Visayas.
1568-1648 – The internal agitation within the Holy Roman Empire extended to the Far East for the control of the spice trade resulting in the Spanish-Dutch War but ended in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. This war resulted in the loss of the East India possessions of Portugal and greatly affected the peace of the Muslim royal dominions of the Sultan of Brunei and the Sultan of Sulu in the Philippines and South East Asia.
1569 – HM Sultan Saif ul-Raijal, Sultan of Brunei, instituted a zealous campaign for Quranic reading excellence among his subjects in Sarawak, North Borneo/ Sabah, Palawan and Sulu.
– Future Brunei Sultan Muhammad Hassan, whose son, Rajah Bongsu Adapati of Sulu, became Sulu Sultan Mawallil Wasit, married the sister of HM Sultan Saif ul-Raijal, Sultan of Brunei.
1570 – de Legazpi was officially appointed governor general of the new Philippine Spanish colony, moved his seat to Capiz in Panay island for lack of food supplies. He sent for his grandson, Juan de Salcedo and forty-five (45) able men to explore the area of May Nilad (Manila) with its excellent seaport and fertile vegetation but, unfortunately, accomplished little due to fierce resistance from forces loyal to Rajah Suleiman (Crown Prince of Brunei).
May 24, 1570 – de Legazpi ordered Marshall Martin Goiti to head for Lusong (Luzon) to attack the May Nilad fortress of Rajah Suleiman with seven hundred (700) Sugbuano (Cebuano) mercenaries and one hundred thirty (130) Spanish officers that left the Brunei Rajah Muda with a destroyed royal capital — a hundred compatriots killed, and about eighty taken into captivity.
– To promote the Quranic reading program of Brunei Sultan Raijal, Rajah Suleiman was at this time in Lusong. Three (3) other fellow Brunei royalties were in May Nilad as his adjutants that included Rajah Nicoy, Rajah Kanduli, and Rajah Lakandula, a celebrated Muslim warrior prince against the Spaniards.
May 1571 – With twenty-seven (27) vessels, two hundred eighty (280) Spaniards and several hundred Visayan mercenaries, Don Miguel Lopez de Legazpi himself led another invasion to May Nilad.
June 3, 1571 – Rajah Suleiman and his warriors fought fiercely and valiantly but succumbed to the guns and cannons of de Legazpi. Some three hundred (300) warriors from Brunei and Sulu loyal to the Brunei Rajah Muda died.
– Nichol wrote, Rajah Suleiman was forced to flee this bloody encounter and Brunei Annals reported a Rajah Muda (no doubt Rajah Suleiman) to have died on this day in Brunei Darussalam after returning from a battle with the Spaniards in May Nilad.
June 24, 1571 – de Legazpi founded May Nilad and ordered the Muslim captives to build a Spanish-style walled city he called “Intra-Moros” along Ilog Pasig (Pasig River) that became Spain’s first major structure in Asia. He wrote letters to King Philip II about his journey to the East Indies and his conquest of the Philippines. Collectively, these letters were known as the Cartas al Rey Don Felipe II: Sobre la Expedicion, Conquistas y Progresos de las Islas Felipinas (Letters to King Philip II: on the expedition, conquests and progress of the Philippine Islands), which are still preserved at the archives of the Indies in Seville, Spain.
August 21, 1572 – de Legazpi died of a heart failure in this Intra-Moros walled city which is now known as “Intramuros.” Later, he was laid to rest in the San Agustin Church in the fortress he built. As captain-general and first governor general of the Philippines, de Legazpi used his cunning, ability, statesmanship and warlike discipline to invade, conquer and subdue the Muslim rulers and their Islamic territories and inhabitants during his campaigns.
– The same strategies of divide, rule and conquer that were used in the reconquest of the Cordoba empire of the Muslims in Spain during the 15th century were also used by de Legazpi in the Philippine conquest. When he died he lost his fortune that he expended for his Philippine conquest which was never reimbursed by Spain. His lieutenants, soldiers and succeeding governors generals became wealthy men as they dissected and appropriated the lands and riches of the new Philippine colony for themselves, their families and their courtiers.
– Today, the City of Makati in Metro Manila, Philippines honored de Legazpi by creating a village after him called “Legazpi Village” and also named a 5 kilometer stretch of road as “Legazpi Street.” Legazpi City in the Bicol region was also named after de Legazpi. Thus, this is how de Legazpi the first governor general and conqueror is vaguely remembered in the colony he forged out of the chaos of war and conflict that characterized the Spanish Philippine Islands’ invasion and conquest.
1574 – According to Medina Historia, a Brunei fleet of one hundred (100) galleys and one hundred (100) ‘paraws’, manned by eight thousand (8,000) warriors, attacked May Nilad to avenge Rajah Suleiman’s death but in time left after a large Spanish reinforcement from Iloilo.
– The King of Spain granted a Charter commemorating Manila, where the city was given the title “Distinguished and Ever Loyal City of Spain (Insigne y Siempre Leal Ciudad de España).
November 1574 – The Spanish navy forced the retreat of Chinese warlord Lin Tao Kien (Limahong to Filipinos) into Lingayen gulf when he attacked Manila (May Nilad) where he finally settled and built his outpost in Sual, Pangasinan.
– Before this foiled attack on Manila, Jolo folklore reported of a Limahong who set sail by the Sulu Sea, even weighing anchor at Tanjung.
March 11, 1576 – The island of Lusong was successfully explored by Juan de Salcedo who died of fever at the young age of 27.
1577 – Francisco de Sande, the governor general, sent a letter to Brunei Sultan Saif ul-Raijal urging him to stop sending Muslim missionaries to southern Philippines.
– Brunei Annals reported attacks of Manila Spaniards on Brunei Darussalam and wrote the Spaniards loosely controlled Brunei for three (3) months to even out Sultan Raijal’s belligerent Islamic expansion to Sulu.
HM Sultan Muhammad ul-Halim (Pengiran Budiman of Brunei), (1558-1585)
June, 1578 – For the first time, Europeans set foot on Sulu’s immortal soil, when de Sande dispatched captain Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa, together with Jesuit priest Juan del Campo and Coadjutor Gaspar Gomez, to Jolo. The visit was brief as a compromised negotiation was reached between de Figueroa’s invaders and the Tausug Royal Datus and warriors that compelled Sulu Sultan Mohammad ul-Halim Pengiran Budiman to pay a regular tribute of coveted priceless Sulu Sea pearls.
1579 – The Manila Spanish government buoyed by this successful Jolo trip gave de Figueroa the sole right to colonize Mindanao; and another Spanish captain Juan Arce de Sadornil conducted a brief but disastrous campaign against the Muslims of North Borneo/ Sabah and Sulu as he was thwarted by the Tausug warriors who annihilated de Sadornil’s army to the last man.
December 1579 – Sir Francis Drake, a celebrated English sea captain and the hero of England on the Spanish Armada War tracing Magellan’s circum-navigational route westward, was careened on some islands north of Celebes Sea that cartographers believed were the Sulu archipelago group.
HM Sultan Batara Shah Tengah (Pengiran Tindig of Brunei), (1585-1600)
1593 – In Samboangan (Sama word for Sabuan, a docking point) at Caldera Bay (present day Recodo), the first permanent Catholic mission was successfully established by the Jesuits in Muslimland.
1596 – Rajah (Datu, Pengiran) Bongsu Adapati of Sulu (son of Brunei Sultan Muhammad Hassan from his Butuan wife) with his ever loyal Tausug warriors, once again, destroyed the army of the Manila Spaniards who made another war expedition to Jolo.
November 1596 – To stop Muslim raids, the Manila Spanish government sent Juan Ronquillo to build fortified military garrison in Tampakan but abandoned it the following year as the garrison was moved to Caldera Bay in Zamboanga Peninsula.
1598 – Another war expedition was sent to Jolo; however, the Manila Spaniards experienced severe drawback and returned to Manila without accomplishing their mission.
HM Sultan Mawallil Wasit (Rajah Bongsu Adapati), (1600-1640), The Fearless Warrior King of Royal Sulu and Prince of Royal Brunei
1600 – Juan Gallinato, Spanish captain, raided Jolo with two-hundred (200) men but suffered defeat from the determined defense and onslaught of the Sultan’s Tausug warriors. Here, Sultan Mawallil Wasit was leading his men in the attacks against the Spanish invaders. One witness commented that the Sultan was like the legendary Alexander the Great who was always ahead of his troops during battles with his enemies. Thus, Sultan Mawallil Wasit was named and revered by his men as the Warrior King and Warrior Prince. This was the highest accolade that the Tausug warriors bestowed on their sovereign Sultan being a man of loyalty, valor, heroism and bravery – qualities of a true Tausug warrior that proved decisive as Spain could not conquer Sulu. Just like Alexander the Great, conqueror of Asia Minor and the Persian Empire who was called the Warrior King, Sultan Mawallil Wasit was revered with the same intense adoration by his own Tausug warriors.
– Panglima Abdullah of Talipao, to avenge the raid of Jolo, led a navy of seventy (70) paraws that combed the southwestern coasts from Balanguingue in Tawi-Tawi to Samboangan. Abdullah likewise attacked Spanish controlled Iloilo and burned it to the ground. Iloilo by now proved to be and was shaping up as the strategic location of the Spaniards to control the Visayas.
December 31, 1600 – The British East India Company was granted by Queen Elizabeth I of England trading privileges in Asia by virtue of Charter signed today. In 1609, King James I decreed to grant perpetuity to the Charter and, in 1688, King Charles II further granted sovereign right privileges that made repercussions in the 1878 Lease Agreement of North Borneo/ Sabah between Sulu Sultan HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram (Owner and Lessor) and the British East India Company (Lessee and Tenant).
1627 – Datu/ Pengiran Acheh, a Brunei royal prince and ambassador of the Sultanate of Sulu on official business in Manila, was intercepted by Manila Spaniards on his way home but managed to evade his pursuers. Incensed by this incident, Sultan Mawallil Wasit retaliated to avenge Sulu dignity and honor and to teach the Spaniards a lesson to respect Royal ambassadors, led two thousand (2,000) of his stalwart Tausug warriors and laid waste to Spanish shipyards in Camarines, south of Manila. Camarines was singled out so that the Spanish navy would lose their ships needed to assault Muslim territories and strongholds. This incident signalled the unquestioned commitment of Sultan Mawallil Wasit to meet the Spanish attacks and belligerence head on to protect Islamic lands and properties from further Spanish attacks and colonization.
– To honor the blood relations between the Royal House of Sulu and the Royal House of Brunei, Sultan Mawallil Wasit formed the Royal Order of Sulu & Brunei.
1628 – The Manila Spaniards organized a raiding force of two hundred (200) Spanish officers and one thousand six hundred (1,600) Christian mercenaries to return the attack of the Sultan of Sulu but nothing much was attained by this expedition.
1629 – The Sultanate of Sulu staged another counter-attack with an expedition under the command of Datu Acheh against Spanish settlements in Camarines, Samar, Leyte and Bohol. Here the Tausug warriors did not fail their commander as they successfully accomplished their mission to destroy the enemy fortifications.
March 17, 1630 – Jolo was again attacked by Spanish soldiers with an army of two thousand five hundred (2,500) but retreated when their commander Lorenzo de Olaso was heavily wounded with the Sultan’s army in hot pursuit leading to many Spanish casualties.
1631 – This time, the Sulu Tausug warriors launched a massive invasion with the objective of concentrating their forces on the Island of Leyte – the seat of Spanish power in the Visayas that was destroyed after repeated assaults from the Tausug invasion force. It was recorded that with fearless bravery the Tausug warriors with their “barung Tausug” and kris, bow and arrows plus spears annihilated the entire Spanish garrison with their cannons, guns and muskets that proved useless in hand to hand combat.
1632 – Sulu Sultan Mawallil Wasit’s daughter married Maguindanao Sultan Kudarat that caused a stronger Two Sultanates Alliance.
– To commemorate this auspicious day Sultan Mawallil Wasit instituted and established the Royal Order of Mindanao.
1634 – Spanish-controlled settlements in Dapitan, Leyte and Bohol were attacked by the Two Sultanates Alliance with a contingent of one thousand five hundred (1,500) warriors who were determined and committed to recover and clawed back Muslim territories invaded by Spain from Islamic rule.
January 1635 – A Muslim power concentration in the Zamboanga peninsula by forces of the two (2) Sultanates was reported by a Sulu Sultanate’s captive named Fray Juan Batista Vilancio who escaped Jolo and reported it to Manila governor general Don Juan Cerezo Salamanca.
April 6, 1635 – Juan de Chaves, a Spanish captain, was ordered to establish a military garrison in Samboangan, which he named Bagumbayan, and became the forerunner of Ciudad de Zamboanga. Finally, Sultan Kudarat’s brother and feared admiral Datu Tagal, who had raided several towns in the Visayas, was defeated by this garrison in Samboangan.
June 23, 1635 – A Jesuit engineer-priest Melchor de Vera was given orders by Salamanca to lay a cornerstone for the construction of Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan (present-day Fort Pilar in Zamboanga).
– de Vera, after finishing his contract returned to Spain bringing with him the impounded “Coat-of-Arms” of the Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu.
1636 – A large fleet of Muslim warriors from Mindanao, Sulu, and North Borneo was gathered by Datu Tagal, the brother of Sultan Kudarat, and they laid waste to the coastal islands of the Visayas.
1637 – Governor general Sebastian Hurtado de Corcuera himself led an expedition against the forces of Sultan Kudarat and Datu Tagal, but the two triumphed over his army at Lamitan and Lian.
January 4, 1638 – Another war expedition of eighty (80) ships and two thousand (2,000) Spanish soldiers was mounted to Jolo by de Corcuera but was again foiled by Sultan Mawallil Wasit and his brave and loyal Tausug warriors. However, due to an epidemic within his kingdom, he and his datus and warriors were forced to seek refuge in Dungun, Tawi-Tawi and the Spaniards freely occupied Jolo but again left in 1646 after a treaty of peace was signed between the Spaniards and Sultan Nasir ud-Din.
1638-1640 – As per the Sulu Royal Family Archives, it was stated that Sulu Sultan Mawallil Wasit’s many heroic battles against the Manila Spaniards during this period at Jolo island were never fully recorded. To honor the bravery and unconditional loyalty of his Tausug datus and warriors, Sultan Mawallil Wasit named this hill “Bud Datu.”
HM Sultan Nasir ud-Din (1640-1658)
1640 – Sultanate of Maguindanao was formed consisting of Pulangi Valley in Kota Bato, and the lower valley (Si Ilud) controlled by Sultan Kudarat coupled with the upper valley (Si Raya) which was controlled by Rajah Buhayen together with the jurisdiction of Rajah Buhisan around Lake Lanao, the Ranao Sultanates confederation was merged to form the new Sultanate of Maguindanao.
March 25, 1644 – Datu (Pengiran) Salikula, the son of Sulu Sultan Mawallil Wasit bombarded Jolo and Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan with the assistance of the Dutch navy stationed in Batavia (present-day Indonesia) that droved de Corcuera.
1645 – Sultan Nasir ud-Din’s persistent raids through his valorous Tausug warriors wiped out the whole Spanish garrison in Jolo.
April 14, 1646 – The Manila Spanish government capitulated and signed a peace treaty with Sulu Sultan Nasir ud-Din recognizing, among others, his sovereign rights to rule and govern as the sovereign monarch to extend up to the Tawi-Tawi group as far as Tup-Tup and Indonesia Balabac islands.
1648 – The Treaty of Munster was signed between Spain and Netherlands to respect each other’s territories. Spain to withdraw from Maluka and the Dutch from the Zamboanga Peninsula.
1649 – Under the direct command of Sultan Nasir ud-Din, the Spanish garrison in Jolo was finally destroyed and exterminated.
HM Sultan Salah ud-Din (Karamat Bakhtiar), (1658-1663)
June 1658 – Brunei Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin awarded Sulu Sultan Salah ud-Din Karamat Bakhtiar the northeast coast of Borneo (Sabah), including Palawan, for helping settle a civil war dispute against Pengiran Bongsu Muhyuddin. Thus, the Sultanate of Sulu owned Sabah and Palawan since then. The story unfolded the Sultan of Sulu sent more than two hundred fifty (250) elite force of Tausug warriors led by Panglima Ilijji (forefather of HRH Datu Hadji Nur P. Misuari, founder and chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front/ MNLF) to assist the Sultan of Brunei.
– Panglima Ilijji was also the forefather of the Rt. Hon. Baron Lt. Gen. Nikabulin Kassim Andah who was the 2006 Chief Inspector General of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the chief of staff and Datu Raja Laut (Admiral of the Fleet) of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, The Sultan of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah. Baron Lt. Gen. Nikabulin Kassim Andah in 1973 was the first MNLF commanding general who fought and liberated Maimbung, Sulu, Philippines from the hands of the enemies. Baron Nikabulin Kassim Andah is the father of The Rt. Hon. Count Brig. Gen. Habib Adz Ganih Nikabulin, the current Minister for Sharifs’ Affairs and Home Minister, as well as Deputy Grand Master of the Royal Order of Sulu. Count Brig. Gen. Habib Adz Ganih Nikabulin in 2006 was also the commanding general of the MNLF Mindanao Composite Taskforce Command with more than 35,000 troops stationed in Southern Philippines and Sabah. The father and son Nikabulins are from Tapul Island of Sulu who are descendants of loyal, fierce and brave Tausug warriors under the service of the Sultans of Sulu for centuries.
– Panglima Ilijji in 1658 was the Panglima (Governor) of Tapul Island in Sulu brought with him handpicked and battle tested Tapul Tausug warriors against the Spaniards that composed majority of the Sultanate of Sulu’s expeditionary force. However, Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin showed his dismay on this seemingly small contingent and decided to release from duties this Tausug warrior elite force. Panglima Ilijji and his Tausug warriors were preparing to leave Brunei for Sulu, but on hearing the incident, Pengiran Bongsu Muhyuddin gladly absorbed the Tausug warriors under his command.
– The addition of the Tausug warrior elite force to the army of Pengiran Bongsu Muhyuddin proved fatal to the army of Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin which was composed of Indonesian conscripts and mercenaries that finally capitulated. As the civil war continued for many years the Tausug warriors who were battled tested from the Spanish wars in Sulu were given commands and occupied central positions that led the assaults on many encounters against the army of Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin. Allegedly, Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin committed suicide when he was finally cornered and his army destroyed on an island off the Brunei mainland.
– Panglima Ilijji was remembered by the current 35th ‘de jure’ Reigning Sultan of Sulu and Sabah HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, who elevated Chairman Hadji Nur P. Misuari as a Royal Datu of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo/ Sabah on the 14th Day of March 2007. Datu Nur became a Royal Datu due to his continuing commitment and determination to the pursuance of the tenets of the 1996 Peace Treaty between the MNLF and the Republic of the Philippines as the cornerstone of a peaceful and prosperous Southern Philippines signed by Datu Nur and Philippine President Fidel V. Ramos.
December 1658 – To honor the heroism and bravery of the Tausug warrior elite expeditionary force sent to quell the Brunei civil war, the Sultan of Sulu formed the Royal Order of Sulu & Borneo (renamed Royal Order of Sulu & Sabah).
May 6, 1662 – An evacuation order was issued for Real Fuerza de San Jose in Bagumbayan by Manila governor general Sabiniano Manrique de Lara and he called all troops to reinforce May Nilad for an imminent attack by Chinese pirate Cheng Cheng-kung (Koxinga), but the truth of the matter was, they were driven away by Sulu Tausug warriors during the previous years and allowed the forces of Sultan Kudarat to sequester it in 1663.
– The Badjaos of the Sultanate of Sulu shifted their loyalty and allegiance to the Sultan of Sulu due to friction between the ruling royalties of Brunei and Sulu.
HM Sultans Sahab ud-Din & Mustafa Shafi’ ud-Din (1663-1704)
1663-1718 – This was a period of interregnum in which Manila Spanish government abandoned all its settlement and pretensions in Mindanao and Sulu as per historical accounts of C.A. Majul.
1667 – The first History of Mindanao and Sulu covering the period from 1620 to 1665 was written by Jesuit historian Francisco Combe though it was slanted and favorable to the Spanish conquest and Roman Catholicism. This historical version did not mention that Spain was the invader and the Muslims were protecting their lives, properties and homeland against the Spanish invasion to recover their lost territories conquered by Spain.
1673-1690 – Brunei Sultan Bongsu Muhyuddin, upon ascending to the throne, confirmed the gift bestowal to the Sultan of Sulu as sovereign landowner of the territories of North Borneo/ Sabah and the island of Palawan. The reign of Brunei Sultan Bongsu Muhyuddin saw his hegemony and Brunei’s influence breaking down that eventually diminished and phased out the Sultanate of Brunei’s over 200 years control of the Sultanate of Sulu and returned royal powers back to the Sulu sultans.
1699 – End of the colorful Melaka Malay Sultanate due to the murder of Melaka Sultan Mahmoud Shah in Kampar, Sumatra, as the heir apparent was not able to assert his kingly rights and inheritance to the Melaka Sultans that became extinct.
From 1691 onwards to 1898, the Sultan of Sulu singularly with his fierce, loyal and unequalled Tausug warriors continued to resist and fought the expansion and encroachment of the Spaniards on their lands to regain, and to recover and to claw back many Muslim territories now under control by Spain in the Philippines. Eventually, the Muslims lacking guns, cannons and gunpowder were only able to hold their ground in Mindanao up to this modern day.
The resistance by the Sultanate of Sulu against Spain ended in 1898 when Spain was defeated by the USA in the Spanish-American War during the same year ending in the signing of the 10th December 1898 Treaty of Paris, that proved to be disastrous to the Sultanate of Sulu. Spain fraudulently and unlawfully included the Sultanate of Sulu as part of the Philippines when it ceded the Philippines, Cuba, Guam and Puerto Rico to the United States for twenty million dollars.
The Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah, through its proud and rich history, signed treaties with many foreign powers as a sign of its sovereign status as an Islamic kingdom for centuries. Great Britain, Holland, France and the United States among others signed treaties with the Sultanate of Sulu.
It was HM Sultan Mohammad Jamalul Kiram I, Sultan 1823 to 1844 (the first Kiram Sultan and great, great, great grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I), the son of Sultan Ali ud-Din and nephew of Sultan Shakir ul lah, upon ascending to the throne as the Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo) instituted and created the Royal Order of Kiram and the Royal Order of Hashem of North Borneo (renamed Royal Order of Hashem of Sabah) and it was he who signed the 1842 Treaty with the United States of America.
THE SULU – U.S. TREATY OF 1842
Signed by HM Sultan Mohammad Jamalul Kiram I (great, great, great grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, The Sultan of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah & the current 35th Reigning Sultan “Sultan Fuad I”)
AND THE UNITED STATES, 1842
I, Mohamed, Sultan of Sooloo, for the purpose of encouraging trade with the people of the United States of America, do promise hereby and bind myself that I will afford full protection to all vessels of the United States, and their commanders and crews visiting any of the islands of my dominions, and they shall be allowed to trade on the terms of the most favoured nation, and receive such provisions and necessaries as they may be in want of.
2dly. In case of shipwreck or accident to any vessel, I will afford them all the assistance in my power; and protect the persons and property of those wrecked, and afford them all the assistance in my power for its preservation and safe-keeping, and for the return of the officers and crews of said vessels to the Spanish settlements, or wherever they may wish to proceed.
3dly. That anyone of my subjects who shall do any injury or harm to the commanders or crews belonging to American vessels, shall receive such punishment as his crime merits.
In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, in the presence of the datus and chiefs at Soung, Island of Sooloo. February 5th, 1842.
Here follows a signature in Arabic characters.
Commanding Exploring Expedition
William L. Hudson,
Late Commanding U.S. Ship Peacock
Purser, U.S. Exploring Expedition
*[Appendix A, page 347 of Mandate in Moroland by Peter Gordon Gowing,
Comments:This is indeed a surprise to know that the world’s ascending economic and military superpower signed a Treaty with the Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah, a sovereign Islamic state, in 1842 for the promotion of trade and commerce between two sovereign nations.
This is another proof absolute that the Sultanate of Sulu was a sovereign Islamic State at this time as it was also recognized by major colonizers and imperialists like Holland, Spain, Portugal, France and Great Britain.
Today, looking at world events, it seems incredible that a small Islamic State like the Sultanate of Sulu would forge and signed a treaty with a superpower like the United States and offered a guarantee of full protection and safety to “all the vessels of the United States, and their commanders and crews visiting the islands under the jurisdiction of the Sultan of Sulu.”
It is surprising to learn that the United States would forget the Sultan of Sulu in the 1898 Treaty of Paris by accepting the one-sided claims of Spain. In other words, the USA failed to initiate a legal and financial due diligence prior to buying the Sultanate of Sulu which any property buyer would do prior to purchasing a property. HM Sultan Jamalul Kiram II, as the head of state, should have been given due courtesy and representation by the United States in the 1898 Treaty of Paris. This is one of the reasons why the 1898 Treaty of Paris was unlawful, fraudulent and questionable because an entire kingdom was sold by Spain to the USA but without the knowledge and consent of the sovereign head of state (Sultan of Sulu) and his Royal Datus and the inhabitants.
Another treaty worth mentioning is the Treaty with France on February 20, 1845 when HM Sultan Mohammad Pulalun Kiram (great, great grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I) signed a most-favored nation treaty with France leading to the discussions on the proposed purchase of the island of Basilan from the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah. France wanted to buy Basilan as a counter-weight against the British presence in Malaya. France sent a high-level official delegation to Sulu with thousands of soldiers to pay homage to the Sultan but the proposed Basilan sale collapsed as the French argued that the price being asked was too high.
From 1405 the Sultanate of Sulu was a sovereign independent kingdom with diplomatic relations with China, Brunei, Malayan sultanates, Dutch Batavia (Jakarta), Spanish Manila, China, Spain, USA etc. The dominions of the Sultanate of Sulu extended over Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Palawan, Zamboanga and Sabah (North Borneo).
The signing of treaties and exchange of diplomatic relations with other sovereign nations proved absolute the Sultanate of Sulu exercised prerogatives and rights as a sovereign state. The 1898 Treaty of Paris between Spain and the USA with the exclusion of the Sultanate of Sulu stole Sultanate of Sulu’s sovereignty.
THE TREATY OF PARIS OF 1898
The United States of America and Her Majesty Queen Regent of Spain, in the name of Her august son, Don Alfonso XIII, desiring to end the state of war then existing between the two countries, had for that purpose appointed as plenipotentiaries:
The President of the United States, William R. Day, Cushman K. Davis, William P. Frye, George Gray, and Whitelaw Reid, citizens of the United States, and;
Her Majesty the Queen Regent of Spain, Don Eugenio Montero Rios, president of the Senate; Don Buenaventura de Abarzuza, Senator of the Kingdom and ex-minister of the Crown, Don Jose de Garnica, deputy to the Cortes and associate justice of the supreme court, Don Wenceslao Ramirez de Villa Urrutia, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary at Brussels; and Don Rafael Cerero, General of Division;
Having assembled in Paris, and having exchanged their full powers, which were found to be in due and proper form, and after discussion of the matters before them, the parties agreed upon the following articles:
Spain relinquishes all claim of sovereignty over the title to Cuba, and as the Island is, upon its evacuation by Spain will, so long as such occupation shall last, assume and discharge the obligation that may under international law result from the fact of its occupation for the protection of life and property.
Spain cedes to the United States the Island of Porto Rico, and other islands now under Spanish sovereignty in the West Indies, and the Island of Guam in the Marianas or Ladrones.
Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line:
A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bacchi, from the one hundred and eighteenth to the one hundred and twenty-seventh degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the parallel and forty-five minutes north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty-five minutes east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.
The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000), within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.
The United States will, for the term of ten years from the date of the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty, admit Spanish ships and merchandise to the ports of the Philippine Islands on the same terms as ships and merchandise of the United States.
The United States will, upon the signature of the present treaty, send back to Spain, at its own cost, the Spanish soldiers taken as prisoners of war on the capture of Manila Bay by the American forces. The arms of the soldiers in question shall be restored to them.
Spain will, upon exchange of the ratification of the present treaty, proceed to evacuate the Philippines as well as the Island of Guam, on terms similar to those agreed upon by the Commissioners appointed to arrange for the evacuation of Porto Rico and other Island in the West Indies, under the protocol of August twelfth, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, which is to continue in force till its provisions are completely executed.
The time within which the evacuation of the Philippine Islands and Guam shall be completed shall be fixed by the two Governments. Stands of colors, uncaptured war vessels, small arms, guns of all calibers, with their carriages and accessories, powder, ammunition, livestock, and materials and supplies of all kinds, belonging to the land naval forces of Spain in the Philippines and Guam, remain the property of Spain.
Pieces of heavy ordnance, exclusive of filled artillery, in the fortifications and coast defenses, shall remain in their emplacements for the term of six months, to be reckoned from the exchange of ratifications of the treaty, and the United States may, in a satisfactory agreement between the two governments on the subject shall be reached.
Spain will, upon the signature of the present treaty, release all prisoners of war, and all persons detained or imprisoned for political offenses in connection with the insurrections in Cuba and the Philippines and the war with the United States.
Reciprocally, the United States will release all persons made prisoners of war by the American forces, and will undertake to obtain the release of all Spanish prisoners in the hands of the insurgents in Cuba and the Philippines.
The Government of the United States will, at its own cost, return to Spain and the Government of Spain, at its own cost, return to the United States, Cuba, Porto Rico, and the Philippines, according to the situation of their respective homes, prisoners released or caused to be released by them, respectively, under this article.
The United States and Spain mutually relinquish all claims for indemnity, national and individual, of every kind, of either Government, or of its citizens or subjects, against the other late insurrections in Cuba and prior to the exchange of ratifications of the present treaty, including all claims for indemnity for the cost of the war.
The United States will adjudicate and settle the claims of its citizens against Spain relinquished in this article.
In conformity with the provisions in Articles One, Two and Three of this treaty, Spain relinquishes in Cuba, and cedes in Porto Rico and other Islands of the West Indies, in the Island of Guam, and in the Philippine Archipelago, all the buildings, wharves, public markets which, in conformity with law, belong to the public domain, and as such belong to the Crown of Spain.
And it is hereby declared that the relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, to which the preceding paragraph refers, cannot in any respect impair the property of rights which by law belong to the peaceful procession of property of all kinds, of provinces, municipalities, public or private establishments, ecclesiastical or civil bodies, or any other associations, having legal capacity to acquire and possess property in the aforesaid whatsoever nationality such individuals may be.
The aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, includes all documents exclusively referring to the sovereignty relinquished or ceded that may exist in the archives of the Peninsula. Where any document in such archives only in part relates to said sovereignty, a copy of such part will be furnished whenever it shall be requested. Like rules shall be reciprocally observed in favor of Spain in respect to documents in the archives of the islands above referred to.
In the aforesaid relinquishment or cession, as the case may be, are also included such rights as the Crown of Spain and its authorities possess in respect of the official archives and records, executive as well as judicial, in the islands above referred to, which relate to said islands or the rights and property of their inhabitants. Such archives and records shall be carefully preserved, and private persons shall without distinction have the right to require, in accordance with law, authenticated copies of the contracts, wills, and other instruments forming part of notarial protocols or files, or which may be contained in executive or judicial archives, be the latter in Spain or in the islands aforesaid.
Spanish subject, natives of the Peninsula, residing in the territory over which Spain by the present treaty relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty, may remain in such territory or may remove therefrom, retaining in either event all their rights of property, including the rights to sell or dispose of such property or of its proceeds; and they shall also have the right to carry on their industry, commerce, and professions, being subject in respect thereof to such laws as are applicable to other foreigners. In case they remain in the territory, they may preserve their allegiance to the Crown of Spain by making, before a court of record, within a year from the date of the exchange of ratifications of this treaty, a declaration of their decision to preserve such allegiance; in default of which declaration they shall be held to have announced it and to have adopted the nationality of the territory in which they may reside.
The civil rights and political status of the native inhabitants of the territories hereby ceded to the United States shall be determined by Congress.
The inhabitants of the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be secured in the free exercise of their religion.
The Spaniards residing in the territories over which Spain by this treaty cedes or relinquishes her sovereignty shall be subject in matters civil as criminal to the jurisdiction of the courts of the country wherein they reside, pursuant to the ordinary laws governing the same, and they shall have the right to appear before such courts; and to pursue the same course as citizens of the country to which the courts belong.
Judicial proceedings pending at the time of exchange of ratifications of this treaty in the territories over which Spain relinquishes or cedes her sovereignty shall be determined according to the following rules:
1. Judgments rendered either in civil suits between private individuals, or in criminal matters, before the date mentioned, and with respect to which there is no recourse or right of review under the Spanish law, shall be deemed to be final, and shall be executed in due form by competent authority in the territory within which such judgments should be carried out. 2. Civil suits between private individuals which may on the date mentioned be undetermined shall be prosecuted to judgment before the court in which they may then be pending or in the court that may be substituted therefore.
3. Criminal actions pending on the date mentioned before the supreme court of Spain against citizens of the territory which by this treaty ceases to be Spanish shall continue under its jurisdiction until final judgment; but such judgment having been rendered, the execution thereof shall be committed to the competent authority of the place in which they arose.
The rights of property secured by copyrights and patents acquired by Spaniards in the Island of Cuba, and in Porto Rico, the Philippines, and other ceded territories, at the time of the exchange of the ratifications of this treaty, shall continue to be respected. Spanish scientific, literary, and artistic works, not subversive of public order in the territories in questions, shall continue to be admitted free of duty into such territories, for the period of ten (10) years, to be reckoned from the date of exchange of the ratifications of this treaty.
Spain shall have the power to establish consular officers in the ports and places of the territories, the sovereignty over which has been either relinquished or ceded by the present treaty.
The Government of each country will, for the term of ten years, accord to the merchant vessels of the other country the same treatment in respect of all port charges, including entrance and clearance dues, lights dues, and tonnage duties as it accords to its own merchant vessels, not engaged in the coastwise trade.
This article may at any time be terminated on six months’ notice given by either Government to the other.
It is understood that any obligations assumed in this treaty by the United States, with respect to Cuba are limited to the time of its occupancy, advise any Government established in the island to assume the same obligations.
The present treaty shall be ratified by the President of the United States, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate thereof, and by Her Majesty, the Queen Regent of Spain; and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington within six months from the date hereof, or earlier if possible.
In faith whereof, we, the respective plenipotentiaries, have signed this treaty and have hereunto affixed our seals. One in duplicate at Paris, the tenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and ninety eight.
(Seal) William R. Day
(Seal) Cushman K. Davis
(Seal) William P Frye
(Seal) George Gray
(Seal) Whitelaw Reid
(Seal) Eugenio Montero Rios
(Seal) B. De Abarzuza
(Seal) J. de Garnica
(Seal) W. R. De Villa Urrutia
(Seal) Rafael Cerero
THE 1898 TREATY OF PARIS (SPAIN UNLAWFULLY CEDED/ SOLD SULU AND OTHER TERRITORIES TO THE USA FOR 20 MILLION DOLLARS) THAT DEPRIVED THE SULTANATE OF SULU ITS SOVEREIGNTY AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE
The 1898 Treaty of Paris was a treaty of surrender of Spain to the USA, whereby Spain ceded and sold her territories to the USA for 20 million dollars such as Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and Philippines. Spain illegally included the Sultanate of Sulu as part of the Philippines in this Treaty of Paris. Since Spain did not conquer Sulu so Spain had no right to cede or sell it to the USA. The Sultanate of Sulu never accepted this Treaty and the people want this 1898 Treaty of Paris declared null and void ab initio by legal means. A law firm specializing in International Law comments that the Sulu cession to the USA by Spain in 1898 was unlawful.
The inclusion of the Sultanate of Sulu as part of the Philippines by Spain was questionable, unlawful and without validity because Spain did not conquer the Sultanate of Sulu. Spain could not sell what it did not control or own. This fraudulent cession by Spain led to the forced occupation of the Sultanate of Sulu by the American forces and the signing of the 1899 Bates Treaty on 20th August 1899, placing the Sultanate of Sulu as a United States protectorate.
The Americans worried on the illegal inclusion of Sulu in the 1898 Treaty of Paris compelled the Sultan of Sulu to sign the 1899 Bates Treaty which was later abrogated by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and this was replaced by the 1915 Carpenter Memorandum. The Sultanate of Sulu was finally amalgamated against the popular will and without consent of the people as part of the Republic of the Philippines that was created and granted independence in 1946. This amalgamation breached the 1787 United States Constitution and the United Nations Charter.
The amalgamation of the Sultanate of Sulu as a part of the Philippines was without the consent of the people of the Sultanate of Sulu as there was no plebiscite or referendum held regarding this amalgamation.
The dominions of the Sultanate of Sulu were absorbed by the American occupation in 1899 and soon became parts of the Republic of the Philippines upon its independence from the USA, but the Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah as Head of State and Head of the Islamic Religion reigning over the dominions of the Sultanate of Sulu and Sultanate of Sabah including the institutions of governance remained intact, existing and strong to this very day.
THE 1898 TREATY OF PARIS EXCLUDED, AS A PARTY, THE SULTANATE OF SULU
This treaty forged and signed between Spain and the United States did not include the Sultanate of Sulu as a participant in the discussions and signing of this treaty that contravened the pacta sunt servanda rule which states that “every treaty in force is binding upon parties to it and must be performed by them in good faith.”
The 1898 Treaty of Paris excluded the Sultanate of Sulu by both Spain and the USA pointing to absolute conclusion and judgment that this international treaty did not carry any weight and applicability or binding effect on this sovereign and independent Islamic State. The cession and sale by Spain to the United States of the Sultanate of Sulu was, therefore, null and void ab initio as it was not legal and binding without the knowledge, participation and agreement by the Sultan of Sulu and his Ruma Bichara (Parliament) that would ratify this 1898 Treaty of Paris to take effect in the Sultanate of Sulu.
THE 1898 TREATY OF PARIS INCLUDING THE SULTANATE OF SULU WAS INVALID
Beyond shadow of a doubt Spain never acquired sovereignty and proprietary rights over the Sultanate of Sulu. Therefore, the inclusion of the Sultanate of Sulu on the said treaty was unlawful and invalid. Without the participation of the Sultanate of Sulu in the discussions and signing of this treaty, this treaty could not have legal effect in the Sultanate of Sulu as it was conceived and signed by two parties without the knowledge and consent of the Sultan of Sulu that infringed and violated the law of treaties and pacta sunt servanda rule, thus the inclusion of the Sultanate of Sulu in this treaty was invalid. The arrival of the Americans to occupy the Sultanate of Sulu without Congressional act or approval relying solely on the words and one-sided claim of Spain of its ownership over the Sulu Archipelago breached the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Sultanate of Sulu.
BATES TREATY OF 1899
The Kiram-Bates Agreement of 1899 signed nine (9) months after the 1898 Treaty of Paris proved to the world that the cession of the Sultanate of Sulu in the said treaty was questionable and without validity and must be ameliorated that was why the Bates Treaty was signed between the United States and the Sultan of Sulu.
The United States feared the 1898 Treaty of Paris was flawed and questionable specifically the Article ceding the Sultanate of Sulu that U.S. President William McKinley admitted in his Fourth State of the Union Address on 3rd December 1900, the payment of additional $100,000 to include the other islands such as Sibutu and Cagayan Sulu and I quote:
The signing of the Bates Treaty of 1899 with the Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo/ Sabah, nine (9) months after the cession of Sulu Archipelago by Spain under the 1898 Treaty of Paris, was a clear admission by the United States that the Sultanate of Sulu was still an independent and sovereign state. It also pointed to the insidious truth that the Sultanate of Sulu was not conquered or controlled like other parts of the Philippines ceded by Spain in the 1898 Treaty of Paris.
The Bates Agreement clearly pointed to the following facts:
1. Undoubtedly stressed the fact that the Sultanate of Sulu was not a property of Spain and, therefore, its inclusion in the 1898 Treaty of Paris between Spain and the USA was not legal and binding. The Sultan of Sulu, under the 1899 Bates Treaty, exercised undiluted sovereignty over its dominions of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Palawan, Zamboanga and Sabah.
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.
2. Raised the monthly salaries of the Sultan and the Royal Datus coupled with the incorporation of the provisions of the 1878 treaty with Spain.
The United States will pay the following monthly salaries (in Mexican dollars):
Sultan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Datu Rajah Muda . . . . . . . . . . 75
Datu Attik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Datu Calbi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Datu Joalkanian . . . . . . . . . . 75
Datu Puyo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Datu Amir Hussin . . . . . . . . . 60
Hadji Butu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Habib Mura . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Sharif Saguin . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
3. The Sultanate of Sulu was not enshrined an American territorial possession but became a United States Protectorate.
The United States will give full protection to the Sultan and his subjects in case any foreign nation should attempt to impose upon them.
Note: Correction on the word Dato to Datu is ours, as the signers were Datus (Royal Princes) and not Datos (Knights). Also, the royal protocol of the Sultan of Sulu since 1457 was His Majesty (HM) and not His Royal Highness (HRH). HRH was and is the royal protocol address for a Rajah, Datu or Pengiran as they are a Muslim prince.
The payment to the Sultan and his Royal Datus as stipulated in the Bates Treaty was an indication that the Americans wanted to close the loophole on the weaknesses and flaws of the 1898 Treaty of Paris specifically the Article ceding the Sultanate of Sulu. Any prudent man would know that if the 1898 Treaty of Paris was really ironclad, the 1899 Bates Treaty would not be needed.
The Bates Agreement disappointed HM Sultan Haji Mohammad Jamalul Kiram II (brother of the grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I) and the Sultanate of Sulu when it was abrogated arbitrarily and unilaterally by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt on 2nd March 1904 without their prior knowledge and consent, that breached its preamble which explicitly stated 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 modifications by the mutual consent of the parties in interest.”
Since the Bates Treaty was terminated unilaterally and one-sided only by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt without the consent of the party in interest namely the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu, therefore, as per international law and based on the Bates Treaty of 1899, the abrogation of President Roosevelt had no effect whatsoever – – and thus, the Bates Treaty is in full force and effect to this day between the United States and the Sultanate of Sulu. This means the Sultanate of Sulu as per Bates Treaty is a sovereign state and a United States protectorate as from 1899 to this day.
As a matter of principle, as per Law of Treaties, a treaty cannot be terminated without the consent of all parties. Such consent may be given in advance in the form of a provision permitting any party to give notice of termination or withdrawal.
THE PEOPLE OF THE SULTANATE OF SULU DID NOT CONSENT TO JOIN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
The Americans established the Republic of the Philippines on 4th July 1946 and the inclusion of the Sultanate of Sulu as part of the dominions of the Republic of the Philippines was also unlawful as there was no plebiscite or referendum approved or consented to by the Muslim people for them to join the Philippines. This is one of the worse debacles in the history of the Sultanate of Sulu as it found itself surrendered its sovereignty and independence without their consent to the Republic of the Philippines. Historian Madge Kho stressed that the incorporation of this Islamic State was arbitrary and against the popular will of the Muslim people in the Sulu Archipelago as she wrote below:
“In 1946, contrary to its promise under the Bates Treaty “not to give or sell Sulu or any part of it to any other nation,” the U.S. incorporated Mindanao and Sulu against the will of the Moro people into the state now known as the Philippine Republic.”
U.N. CHARTER WAS VIOLATED WHEN THE SULTANATE OF SULU WAS ADDED TO THE PHILIPPINES WITHOUT PEOPLE’S CONSENT
The addition of the Sultanate of Sulu to the Philippines without the consent of its people violated specifically the three (3) purposes and principles under Section 1 of the United Nations’ Charter, namely:
(1) “To develop friendly relations among nations based on the respect for the principles of equal rights and self-determination of people and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;
(2) To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an 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 on any state or in any other manner inconsistent with purposes of the United Nations.”
The annexation and incorporation of the Sultanate of Sulu into the Philippine Republic against the popular will of the people of the Sultanate of Sulu without plebiscite or referendum on the matter violated the Charter of the United Nations which was signed on June 26, 1945, exactly eleven (11) months earlier before the United States granted independence to the Philippine Republic on July 4, 1946, that was a direct contravention of Article IV; Section 3 of the U.S. 1787 Constitution and the Declaration of Purposes and Principles of the United Nations (Section 1 of the Charter).
AND A UNITED STATES PROTECTORATE TODAY
The Sultanate of Sulu remained in existence to this day and the Sultan as head of state and head of Islamic religion continued its role as the Royal authority that was unchanged since the establishment of the Sultanate of Sulu in 1457. The Sultanate of Sulu was not terminated or abrogated when it was added to the Philippines in 1946, it is easy to understand that the existence of the Sultanate of Sulu remains unchanged to this modern day.
The preponderance of evidence presented on this website proves that the Sultanate of Sulu & North Borneo/ Sabah is a sovereign kingdom and state up to this day, and the unilateral abrogation of the 1899 Bates Treaty by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt on 2nd March 1904, was not valid as the said abrogation was not consented to by the party in interest to the Bates Treaty namely HM Sultan Haji Mohammad Jamalul Kiram II (brother of the grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I).
For to repeat as a matter of principle, as per Law of Treaties, a treaty cannot be terminated without the consent of all parties. Such consent may be given in advance in the form of a provision permitting any party to give notice of termination or withdrawal.
The United States did not inform HM Sultan Jamalul Kiram II of its intention to abrogate the 1899 Bates Treaty thus in reality this Bates Treaty still exists today.
Unquestionably, the kingdom that became the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) was indeed a sovereign state as from 1405 to 1899 and still a sovereign state to this day and a United States Protectorate.
THE SULTAN OF SULU OWNED SABAH SINCE 1658 BUT ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED BY MALAYSIA SINCE 1963
To repeat, in June of 1658, the Brunei Sultan Abdul Hakkul Mubin awarded the northeast coast of Borneo (Sabah) including Palawan as gifts to the Sultan of Sulu, for helping settle a civil war dispute against Pengiran Bongsu Muhyuddin. Thus, the Sultan of Sulu owned Sabah since then up to now. The Sabah and Palawan gift bestowal to the Sultan of Sulu was also confirmed by Brunei Sultan Bongsu Muhyuddin when he ascended the throne as the Sultan of Brunei on the year 1673.
The father of HM Sultan Jamalul Kiram II was HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam Kiram (Sultan of Sulu and Sabah 1863 to 1881, great grandfather of HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I) who rented North Borneo/ Sabah to a British Company represented by the two Dent brothers and Gustavus Baron von Overbeck in 1878. This 1878 North Borneo Lease states: “The abovementioned territories are from today truly leased to Gustavus Baron von Overbeck and to Alfred Dent, Esquire, as already said, together with their heirs, their associates (company) and to their successors and assigns for as long as they choose or desire to use them, but the rights and powers hereby leased shall not be transferred to another nation, or a company of other nationality, without the consent of His Majesty’s Government.”
Based on facts, reality and history, His Majesty’s Government or the Government of the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah as owner never gave its consent to the 1963 British transfer of Sabah to Malaysia which means that the “Lease is breached” and based on point of Law, it can be stated that Sabah must and should be returned to the Lawful Owner namely to the Sultan of Sulu. Sabah is the private property of the Sultan of Sulu up to now and the Sabah occupation of Malaysia is unlawful. In 1906 and 1920 the USA formally reminded Great Britain that Sabah is still owned by the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu but Great Britain ignored the USA and proceeded to the illegal transfer of Sabah to Malaysia in 1963.
The annual Rental Money for Sabah with a land area of 73,711 square kilometers at Philippine Pesos 77,442.36 or US$1500 by Malaysia to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu is unjust and unfair. Malaysia derives US$100 billion GDP per year in Sabah, therefore, the Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah should receive at least 10% to 12% (US$10 billion to US$12 billion) as rent per annum so that such amount can be used for economic developments of Sulu, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, Palawan and Zamboanga. These areas lack roads, drinking water, electricity, hospitals, medicines, schools and mosques.
The measly Rental Money is unacceptable to the Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah and to all people everywhere who believe in fair play and natural justice.
HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, the 35th Reigning Sultan of Sulu and Sabah states that if the rental proposal is not preferred then a “Joint Administration” is offered whereby the incomes are split 50/50% between the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultan of Sabah and Malaysia including equal share in police and military duties plus Courts of Law like Vanuatu’s joint condominium of France and England in the past. Joint Administration is the win-win solution to all parties in the Sabah issue.
MALAYSIA PAYS PHILIPPINE PESOS 77,442.36 OR US$1,500 MEASLY RENTAL MONEY TO THE HEIRS OF THE SULTAN OF SULU PER YEAR BUT CALLED IT CESSION MONEY TO JUSTIFY THEIR ILLEGAL STAY IN SABAH
Herein lies the futility of the Malaysian position to justify their illegal stay in Sabah that they called the “Rental Money” paid to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu “Cession Money.”
Any student of International Law will know that Cession Money means the payment of a sovereign government to another sovereign government for a certain landed territory.” Malaysia pays the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu “who are private individuals, not a sovereign government” – so Malaysia is clutching on straws and proved to show their lack of lawful and legal position to occupy Sabah. We urge the international community to end this illegal occupation of Sabah by Malaysia, so that the Sabah owners namely the Sultan of Sulu and the people of the Sultanate of Sulu, can receive natural justice and to develop the dominions of the Sultanate of Sulu to provide much needed services to the people.
To continue with the age old traditions of crowning the lawful heir and successor as hereditary Sultan, HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I passed a Royal Edict on the Law of Succession.
In 1947, on ascending to the throne as the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah, HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (33rd Sultan 1947 to 1973) decreed that the continuing hereditary succession as the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah must be from his sons and male heirs and descendants only. Thus, on his death, his eldest son HM Sultan Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram became Sultan of Sulu and Sabah from 1974 to 1986, and in 2006, as per law of succession the youngest son of Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I, HM Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, was crowned the 35th Reigning Sultan.
BEWARE OF FAKE SULTANS OF SULU & SABAH
As per Law of Succession, to be true and legitimate Sultan of Sulu & Sabah, one must be the son or male heirs of HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (Sultan 1947-1973). Today, the true and legitimate Sultan is His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I being the last remaining son of HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I.
The proliferation of many fake and self-appointed sultans of Sulu lacking the criteria as per law of succession enumerated above will point to the initiated that these self-appointed sultans are either charlatans or have taken leave of their senses, as there is only one crown and one throne for the Sultan of Sulu and Sabah. There are many impostors and fake sultans of Sulu & Sabah who installed themselves without any lawful rights to the rank and position of Sultan.
The public will know these impostors and fake sultans as they have one distinguishing mark: they are not the sons, male heirs or descendants of HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I.
These fake sultans and impostors must be disdained and rejected by the public.
HM SULTAN MUHAMMAD FUAD A. KIRAM I:
The True and Legitimate Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah
The true and legitimate Sultan of Sulu and Sultan of Sabah as per law of succession is no other than His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, the 35th de jure Reigning Sultan, who is the brother of the late HM Sultan Mahakuttah Abdulla Kiram (34th Sultan of Sulu and Sabah) and the son of the late HM Sultan Muhammad Esmail E. Kiram I (33rd Sultan of Sulu and Sabah)