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The Bangsa-Sug freedom fighters fought to defy the invasion of Spaniards, and later the Americans to Sulu Sultanate territory


(By: DATU ALBI DACULA JULKARNAIN)  Long before the advent of the Spaniards to Sulu Sultanate in 1576, the Sulu Sultanate has a well defined name of its nationality or citizens called the “Bangsa-Sug”. The Bangsa-Sug traced their culture root to the Malay Muslim heritage. It has its own genealogy, history, and legal ascendancy to the governance and ancestral domain of Sulu Sultanate nation-state.

The “Bangsa-Sug” people fought a war of 333 years against the invasion of the Spaniards to Sulu Sultanate dominion, and they resisted the superior arms of the Americans for almost 50 years in defense of their culture, religion, government and homeland.

There was no other “Bangsa” (nationality or race), except the Bangsa-Sug freedom fighters of Sulu Sultanate that fought to defy the invasion of the Spaniards to Sulu archipelago.

Later, the American forces landed at Jolo, Sulu, and soon initiated the so-called “Moro War”. The term “Moro” is not the vocabulary of the Bangsa-Sug people. The word “Moro” was a designation term used by the Spaniards to those Muslims, not only in Sulu archipelago and Mindanao but also to those Muslims who were the early inhabitants of Manila, Cebu and other places in Visayas and Luzon.

The Americans, as the successor in interest to the Spanish regime in the Philippine islands formulated the term “Moro problems” in their efforts to change the original identity of the nationality or citizens of Sulu Sultanate from “Bangsa-Sug” to “Bangsa Moro” people, a term that included the Muslims and non-Muslim ethnic group population in Mindanao and Sulu archipelago. The term “Bangsa Moro” is not welcome by the “Bangsa-Sug” of Sulu archipelago, not only that it has no genealogical and historical link to the national character of Bangsa-Sug, but also the term “Bangsa Moro” was designated by their enemy. It is a historical injustice against the Bangsa-Sug of changing the name of their nationality, and even worst when the Philippine government presently is allowing other people to decide the faith of the Bangsa-Sug on their way of life in Sulu archipelago without the participation of the traditional leaders of Sulu Sultanate.

The Tausug of “Lupah Sug” (Sulu) can’t help wondering why the dominion of Sulu Sultanate is included in the “Bangsa Moro” claim of its territory without the consent of the royal Datus and traditional leaders of the realm. From whose mandate that the Bangsa Moro advocacy got the legal authority to represent the Sultan; royal Datus and other leaders of Sulu Sultanate in the peace talk with the Philippine government. To the Bangsa-Sug, such representation would rob them of their identity being the nationality of Sulu Sultanate nation-state. They have fought the Spaniards for more than 300 years, and the Spaniards failed to conquer their homeland.

The mandate of the Americans over the Sulu Sultanate dominion was done through trickery, gimmickry and false promises in violation to the U.S. Constitution, Law of Nations and the United Nations Charter. The Americans has done all these historical injustices to the Bangsa-Sug that has been inherited by the Philippine government. And this has been the root cause of conflict in Sulu archipelago we are facing nowadays.

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