Category Archives: Spratly Islands

CPP to Duterte: China an imperialist power too

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/21 October) — The Communist Party of the Philippines on Friday warned President Rodrigo Duterte to exercise caution in dealing with China which it views as a “burgeoning imperialist power.” In an article published in the October 21, 2016 issue of Ang Bayan, the CPP said China is confronting “a capitalist crisis in […]

Philippines wins South China Sea case vs China

China has no legal basis to assert sovereignty over the West Philippine Sea and its “nine-dash line” is invalid, the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal said in a ruling released on Tuesday. In a statement Tuesday, the Tribunal said China has violated Philippine sovereignty over the disputed territories as well as the latter’s historic rights to […]


Neldy Jolo
The question on Spratly Islands between China and the Philippines are right now the in the world’s circulation. The two governments are defending to each other of their own claims. But the real holder of the islands is silent?

Darwin T. Wee of Business World Online wrote recently, a team from Sulu archipelago was invited by Chinese government via Philippine government to design museum in the Royal Tomb of Sulu of Sultan, Sultan Paduka Batara, who died in Dezhou City, Shandong Province in 1417.

Sultan Paduka Batara is said to be Sultan Kamaluddin Ibni Sultan Syariful Hashim Sayyid Abubakar, the second Sultan of Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam.

Darwin Wee wrote, “The Chinese government has proclaimed the tomb under the state’s protection in January 1988 for its valuable and symbolic recognition of the friendship between…China.”

Mr. Loong said the Chinese government recognized that “there is a sultanate blood among Chinese people.” “There is one sultan who died in China that is to prove that during that time, China and the Sulu Sultanate are already in a diplomatic relationship in term of recognition of the sovereign authority of the Sulu Sultanate,” Darwin Wee wrote.

The only international renowned Tausug Visual Artist, Rameeta (Rameer Tawasil), who just had back from his exhibition trip to Sweden and other European countries would be the one to design the museum – “design that emphasize on the Sulu Culture” Rameeta said, quoted by Darwin Wee.

Rameeta’s state of craftsmanship is beyond the art itself, thus honouring him as Sulu National Artist is not enough – indeed he is the modern art hero of the Tausug as well as the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam.  

Rameeta, a Tausug Singing-Painter rendered a song at a certain resto in Zamboanga City. He would be the one to go to China to design the Museum for Sulu Sultanate there..
This is again to carry back the glory of the Sulu Sultanate as the haven of pearls and as the island country back then, as had been known as such in the early century. American journalist John F. Bass wrote in the Harper’s Weekly, 18 November 1899:
”The Sulu Archipelago seems to have become the dumping ground for the Oriental world. Here you find renegade Arabs; native Indian soldiers, for whom India has become too hot; even the Sudan, bad as it is, occasionally has a man so bad, he has to drift to Sulu. Like a Western mining camp of old, Sulu is full of adventure.” Chinese may have been present here at that time.

15 January 2010, News Strait Times, Malaysia published the article of Prof. Datuk Dr. Shaharil Talib, of the University Malaya commenting about Tausug:

“It was the Tausugs who were the undisputed mariners of the Sulu Sea whose seat of power was on the island of Maimbung on the Sulu Archipelago, the Tausugs blocked…the south from access into the Sulu Sea and into the Eastern Sea following the Palawan Passage, the main artery leading to the China market”. 

This is true that Sulu and China diplomatic and trade ties back then when Darwin Wee quoting Habib Tupay Loong, the trip to China today is the “sign of recognition of the sovereign power of the Sultanate (of Sulu) in the past and want to preserve it…Chinese culture has been embedded in Tausug’s customs particularly in trade.

In reference to the ownership of Spratly Island, Christopher Johnson wrote that Chinese official was saying that according to the Tausug forefathers, the Tausug great-great-grandfathers had already given the Spratly Island as a gift to the Chinese emperor. But the Chinese government cannot any more claim it through words because it is not accepted by the international community.

If the Tausug government, the Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam can certify that truly Tausug great-grandfather had already given that island and will sign the certification the Chinese government is committed to help the Tausug.

Subanun Prof Emmanuel Mangubat in his series of articles at Zamboanga Peninsula Journal in 2008, Zambaonga City usually argued, “Sulu Sultanate was established in the 14th century when Republic of the Philippines did not yet exist. So who owns Spratly if not Sulu Sultanate?”

For the interest of peace and harmony, the circumstance like this must not be taken for granted. Chinese and Tausug government shall take the opportunity to talk further on the matter before anything else.

Somehow this would be for the good of the region – retrospect to the area of “Sulu Zone” as peaceful and harmonious international trading zone – beyond racial boundaries. Tausug even has the own name to the Chinese. They called the Chinese, Lannang and China called Turisina.

The Tausug is hoping that through the courtesy of Chinese to build a museum of Sulu Sultanate somehow would resort to the reestablishment of the diplomatic and trade ties between them.

Eventually China will formally recognize the Sultanate of Sulu Darul Islam’s independence reasserted and declared last 17 November 2010 at Jolo City, the state capital of Sulu Sultanate Darul Islam with Paduka Batara Mahasari Maulana Al-Sultan Bantilan Muhammad Muizzuddin II.

The date of the reassertion was synchronised with the Sulu Sultanate establishment on 17 November 1405. And enthroned Sayyid Abubakar as the first Sultan and called him Paduka Mahasari Maulana Al-Sultan Syarif Al-Hashim.