A team of Tausug international and local lawyers of North Borneo (Sabah), Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula and Palawan want the Philippine government, United States of America, Spain, Malaysia and Great Britain to listen to their claims of independence of the Sultanate of Sulu.
The lawyers calling themselves "Tausug Lawyers of Stateless Tausug Ra'ayats are pushing for the restoration of sovereignty of the Tausugs over Sulu Sultanate territory (Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Palawan North Borneo and Sulu Sea).
"We want them (Philippines, US, Spain, Malaysia and Great Britain) to bring back sovereignty of the Tausugs over the above-named territories of the Sultanate of Sulu," said Rajam Muharram, spokesperson of the United Tausugs Sultanate of Sulu.
"We want to tell them that Sulu Sultanate territory, dejure Sultanate government and absolute sovereignty still belong to sovereign Ra'ayat Tausugs of Sulu Sultanate and not to the Filipinos and the Sahabanas," Muharram added.
In a statement, the lawyers claimed that on November 17, 1405, Sulu Sultanate attained her being, as a "State" when Syed Abubakar Al-Marhom Sultan Shariful Hashim was enthroned and installed by sovereign Tausug Ra'ayats; inhabitants of Sulu Archipelago as their first Sultan.
The dominion of the Sulu Sultanate then expanded to Zamboanga Peninsula, Palawan and North Borneo; hence Sulu Sea was named and owned by her, according to the group.
Ra'ayats means people, subjects or citizens. In the monarchial form of government, the people are called "Subjects", while in the democratic form of government, the people are called "Citizens."
A country can be called "State", under the international and municipal laws, when having the following elements: 1. people; 2. territory; 3. government; 4. sovereignty; and according to international law experts, and 5. recognition (by other states on international persons or entities).Thus, the Sulu Sultanate had been a perfect "State" for 173 years prior to the first arrival of the Spaniards in 1578 to Jolo.
The lawyers said Sulu Sultanate is still a perfect "State" during the failed attempts of Spaniards to colonize her for 321 years from 1578 to 1899 though sold to United States by Spain under the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898 and the Treaty on November 7, 1900, which were both illegal and null and void.
On the other hand, they said North Borneo (Sabah) was merely leased (padjak) by Al-Marhom Sultan Jamalul Alam to British North Borneo Company for 5,000 Malayan dollars. Furthermore, Sulu Sultanate had still been a perfect "State" under the Kiram-Bates Treaty and the Carpenter Agreement concluded between the Sultanate of Sulu as a State and the USA.
Later on, the USA illegally and militarily occupied the Sulu Sultanate: illegally usurped her territory, Sultanate government and the exercise of acts of sovereignty against the will of the sovereign Ra'ayat Tausugs.
When US had left in 1946, US illegally annexed, incorporated and given the "State" of Sulu Sultanate to the Filipinos of then Philippine Islands, a distinct country; hence, by inheritance, Sulu Sultanate had been illegally and militarily occupied too by the Filipinos for 60 years now since 1946.
Meanwhile, a group of Datus in Tanjung, Siasi, Sulu led by His Royal Highness Datu Rajamuda @ Ladjamura Bin Datu Wasik Aranan Puyo called on all stateless Tausugs to unite and assemble to decide the case peacefully.
Datu Wasik, who belongs to the Sulu Sultanate's "Second Heir Apparent" Maharajah Adinda Raja Muda Bantilan, also urged Sultan claimants that Sultanate throne should be "rotated" among the three branches of the Sultanate Royal Families under the protocol system of succession.