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Random Thoughts | The House of Kiram

“The assumption of Sultan Jamalul Kiram I in 1823 marked the establishment of the House of Kiram. It was during his reign as Sultan of Sulu that English , Dutch and French vessels were often seen in the Sulu sea. Under these circumstances, the Spanish government wanted again to enter into commercial treaty with Sulu.

Thus, a commercial treaty was entered into between the Sultan of Sulu and Capt. Jose Halcon, representative of Capt. General Salazar.

Several treaties followed since it was obvious that other foreign powers were likewise interested in the Sulu Sultanate sphere of influence. This is a proof that as late as 1842 when Sultan Jamalul Kiram died, Sulu Sultanate remained sovereign. His son, Datu Pugal, ascended the throne as Sultan Muhammad Pulalon.” (Jaimal D. Rasul, Sr., “Still Chasing The Rainbow”, 1999).


It was during the reign of Sultan Pulalon from 1842 to 1862 that the Sultanate of Sulu reportedly started to decline after engaging in several bloody battles with Spain.

With the death of Sultan Pulalon in 1852, his son became his successor with the title of Sultan Jamalul Ahlam. The Sultanate bloody war with Spain continued. “The responsibility of defending the Sultanate has shifted to the individuals.” The “juramentado” upsurge, as labeled by the Spaniards, was actually a concept of ‘Jihad’ or holy war initiated in defense of religion and one’s country. This was a manifestation of patriotism, pure and simple, long before the Philippine Revolution of 1898”, wrote Justice Rasul.

That’s why this writer fully supports the proposal to officially add another ray in the Philippine flag to recognize and honor our Muslim Filipinos’ great contribution in our fight against foreign colonization.

When Sultan Ahlam died in 1881, his oldest son succeeded him with the title of Sultan Badaruddin. His death in 1884 “was followed by a state of unrest”. Per Justice Rasul, “the death of Sultan Badaruddin had brought dissension to the Muslims and vexation to Spaniards. The dissension was between two Houses, one is the House of Sakirullah represented by Datu Alindalin, and the second is the House of Sultan Jamalul Kiran I represented by Amirul Kiram,, Finally Amirul Kiram won, the people having rejected the interference of Spain or Madrid.”
Spain’s partial rule over Mindanao and Sulu ended with the coming of the American Colonizer in 1899. Justice Rasul wrote: “The strategy of the Americans with the Sulu Sultanate was as follows:
1) On August 20, 1899, Sultan Jamalul Kiram II agreed with Gen. Bates to recognize partial sovereignty of the United States. The people, however understood that the U.S. will never interfere with the religion and customs of the Muslims

2) In 1913, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu was created supplementing the Old Moro province by virtue of Philippine Commowealth Act on December 16, 1913

3) Under the so-called Carpenter’s Agreement dated March 22, 1915, the Sultan for the first time, knowingly surrendered temporal sovereignty to the American flag.

“In February 1920, the Department of Mindanao and Sulu was abolished and the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribe was created under Gen. Carpenter as its first director, who was succeeded later by Teofilo Guiangona, Sr.

“On June 22, 1957, the Commission on national Integration was created by virtue of R.A. No. 1888, to effectuate in a more rapid manner the social economic, moral and political advancement of non-Christians.”
Fast forward, then President Manuel Quezon opined “that Sulu Sultanate ended with the death of Sultan Jamalul Kiram II.” However, “when the Philippine pursued its claim to Sabah, the Philippine Government found it necessary to recognize Sultan Ismail Kiram as Sultan of Sulu on September 12, 1962.” (underlining mine). This, we think, must be incorporated in our new Federal Constitution.

Justice Rasul concluded: “Indeed, what was considered a strong supported political institution like Sulu Sultanate had practically ended: this is evidenced by the election of provincial government officials who were mostly – Muslims and the operation of the Shari’an Court system under P.D. 1081, which was consecrated and respected by the Filipino Muslims a part of the legal system of the Philippine Republic.”

Our previous article titled “The Sultanate of Sulu per Justice Rasul” and this one were written to show that the ancestral domain of the Bangsamoro consists of Mindanao, Sulu and Palawan or MinSuPala. To correct, therefore the historical injustice committed to our Muslim Filipinos, MinSuPala must be created as one of the Federal Regions in our new Federal Republic of the Philippines.

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