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Sultan follower in Sabah territory claim dies in Tawi-Tawi jail

A sickly follower of the Sulu Sultanate who was arrested for allegedly taking part in the Sabah intrusion last February died in the provincial jail of Tawi-Tawi Thursday night.

Haiber Jailani, 62, died of a “lingering illness” in detention in Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, said Abraham Idjirani, the secretary-general of the sultanate.

Jailani was part of the 200-member Royal Security Forces of the Sulu Sultanate who sailed to Sabah on February to press claim over the territory.

According to Idjirani, Jailani fell ill after drinking contaminated water in Tanduo village in Lahad Datu, Sabah. He and several others were arrested by the Philippine Navy while trying to escape during a clash with Malaysian troops in March.

“The sultanate is dismayed by the failure of the PNoy administration to show equal humane sympathy by failing to address his medical treatment,” Idjirani said.

He said Jailani’s relatives were scheduled to pay his bail along with 21 other co-detainees next week.

The group was first held at the Bato-Bato Navy Yard before being transferred to the Tawi-Tawi.

“Jailani died without seeing his liberty. He was imprisoned for his patriotic act to live in peace in an ancestral land gifted to the Sultan of Sulu in 1704,” Idjirani said, referring to Sabah, which the sultanate claims as part of its ancestral territory.

Led by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, the sultanate’s “royal army” sailed to Sabah on February and clashed with Malaysian security forces leaving 68 Filipinos dead along with 68 Malaysian policemen and soldiers.

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