MANILA – The daughter of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has married a Philippine Army officer.
Princess Jacel Kiram tied the knot with Major Mohammad Yusoph Hassan, a junior Army officer based in Central Mindanao, in a simple ceremony on Sunday.
The event was low-key, as the sultanate was trying to make ends meet due to its ongoing standoff with Malaysian authorities in the contested territory of Sabah.
No important political personalities were present in the event and only family and close friends were present during the intimate ceremony.
Jacel said the wedding was originally scheduled in February, but was postponed when the sultanate decided to send some 200 troops to Sabah to press its claim to the resource-rich territory.
Meanwhile, the sultanate's spokesperson, Abraham Idjirani, said the Sulu royal army has decided to cease engaging Malaysian forces at the moment so as not to affect Filipino residents in Malaysia who will participate in the May 5 elections.
Idjirani also denied Malaysia's claim that 35 of the sultanate's supporters were shot dead while crossing the sea between Sabah and Tawi-Tawi by members of the Philippine Navy.
Malaysia's caretaker Defense Miniser Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was earlier quoted in news reports giving confirmation that 35 Sulu soldiers were shot dead by the Philippine Navy in Sibutu Island.
The report said that based on intelligence investigation and information, the group had intended to enter Sabah. – report from RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga