The last treaty between the Sultanate of Sulu and Spain, the Treaty of July 1878

Sunday July 21, 2013 ()

This being the last treaty entered into by the Sultanate of Sulu and Spain, may be considered to define the final relation that existed between them and the exact position which Sulu occupied in the Philippine Archipelago during the last period of the Spanish régime. The best account of this relation is given in the words of the treaty itself. Careful translations of which have been prepared from both the Spanish and Sulu texts and are herein presented for full information.

Sulu Kris

Translation of the Spanish Copy of the Treaty

Decree, Office of the Governor-General of the Philippines, Manila, August 19, 1878.

The Supreme Government having approved the bases of pacification and capitulation which are submitted through me to his Majesty, the King, by the Sultan of Sulu and the Datus of Sulu, and the act to that effect, which I confirmed and ratified on the 15th instant, having been drafted and signed by the commission appointed for that purpose by me in representation of my authority, and the Sultan and Datus, in representation of the sultanate of Sulu, I hereby direct that a copy of said act be published in the Official Gazette of Manila, in order that said bases be officially and publicly known.

Moriones.

An Act drafted on the bases of pacification and capitulation presented by the Sultan of Sulu and the Datus to His Majesty the King Alfonso XII, through His Excellency the Governor-General of the Philippine Islands, acknowledging the sovereignty of Spain over the territory of this sultanate.

In the town of Likup, Sulu, and in the palace of His Excellency the Sultan of this Archipelago, on the 20th of July 1878, 23rd day of the month Rajab, year of the Hegira 1295:

Present: Carlos Martinez y Romero, Colonel of Infantry and Politico-Military Governor of Jolo, Francisco Fernandez de Alarcon y García, Colonel of Marine Corps, Frigate Captain and Commander of the Naval Station of Jolo, and interpreters, Alejo Alvarez y Villasis and Pedro Ortuoste y García, these constituting a commission representing His Excellency, the Governor-General of the Philippines:

Also present: Padukka Mahasari Mawlana, Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Aʿlam and the Datus Padukka Raja Muda, Mohammed Badarud Din, the Padukka Mohammed Zaynul ʿAbidin Raja Lawut, the Padukka Datu Mohammed Harun ar-Rashid and the Datu Padukka Muluk Bandarasa, in the name and representation of the Sultanate of Sulu;

The object of the meeting was to read and sign the articles of pacification and capitulation presented by the Sultan and Datus to the Governor-General on February 24th, of this year, and approved by His Majesty Alfonso XII, on May 3rd last; the reading of the articles being proceeded with as follows: Bases of pacification and capitulation presented by the Sultan and Datus of Sulu, to his Majesty the King of Spain Don Alfonso XII, through His Excellency the Governor-General of the Philippines, acknowledging the sovereignty of the King of Spain over the territory of the said sultanate.

Article 1. We declare that the sovereignty to Spain over all the Archipelago of Sulu and its dependencies is indisputable, and as a natural consequence of this declaration we constitute ourselves loyal subjects of His Majesty King Alfonso XII, and of his successors to the power.

Article 2. The Spanish Government shall give the Sultan a yearly salary of 2,400 pesos, 700 to the heir of the sultanate Datu Badarud- Din and 600 to each of the Datus Padukka Raja Lawut Zaynul ʿAbidin, Padukka Datu Harun ar-Rashid, Padukka Datu Muluk Bandarasa Pula, members of the Sultan’s Council, to compensate them in some way for the losses they have suffered.

Article 3. Spain has the right to occupy such points in the Sulu Archipelago and its dependencies as may seem necessary to the Spanish authorities, respecting towns, families and property; in case of forcible appropriation for the public good, compensation shall be paid according to appraisement; we beg that exception be made for the land extending from Sinungan Point to the south coast of Kadungdung, which we would use for our residences; it could be occupied by the Government in case of war with a foreign power.

Article 4. The Sultan shall be empowered to collect duties from foreign merchants and ships trading with places not occupied by the Government.

Article 5. The Sultan shall be allowed to communicate directly with the Governor-General whenever he has a complaint to make against the Governor, or the commander of war ships.

Article 6. The Sultan shall be authorized to issue licenses to carry muzzle-loading firearms when requested by Sulus, after presenting two honorably known witnesses who will guarantee their proper use both on land and sea.

Article 7. The Sultan shall be allowed to issue passports to Sulu craft; but when any of said craft has to leave the Sulu Archipelago, the owners will first have to go before the Governor; the principal datus and some other persons serving under commissions from the Sultan are to be excepted from this formality; but the Sultan shall report all such cases to the Governor.

Article 8. We will use all our efforts to cause pirates and malefactors to desist from their evil inclinations; and, if we can not prevent them, we will inform the Governor of Jolo for him to take the necessary measures, whenever we know the whereabouts of said pirates and malefactors; but we will not be held responsible if we have no information concerning them; we furthermore agree to render all assistance in our power in running down such pirates and malefactors.

Article 9. We shall be allowed the free exercise of our religion and customs. Catholic missionaries will have liberty to visit and reside in any place in Sulu, and its dependencies, and will give us notice before going, so that in case of danger we may furnish an escort; failure to give us notice will relieve us from all responsibility for any mishap that may befall them. The same caution applies to any European or Christian Indian native who may wish to visit the interior.

Article 10. We pledge ourselves to deliver to the Spaniards all Christian delinquents and criminals, and all Moros in the same case shall be returned to us.

Article 11. Sulu and its dependencies shall raise the Spanish flag on vessels and in towns; however, if a boat does not fly said flag it shall not be held at fault if it has a passport; at the place of the Sultan’s residence he shall fly the Spanish war flag.

Article 12. All the articles of the foregoing capitulation shall be observed without alteration, except by mutual agreement.

Both commissions unanimously agreeing to the foregoing articles as read, said articles being identical with those whose copies were in the hands of the Governor and of the Sultan of Sulu, the latter and the persons with them signed this document on the spot, place, day, month and year aforesaid.

The Sultan of Sulu,—His rubric and stamp,—the Governor of Sulu, Carlos Martinez,—Mohammed Harun ar-Rashid,—the Commander of the Naval Station, Francisco Fernandez de Alarcon y García,—Mohammed Zaynul ʿAbidin,—Mohammed Badarud Din,—Mohammed Pula,—interpreters, Alejo Alvarez, Pedro Ortuoste.

I, Don Domingo Moriones y Murillo, Lieutenant-General of the National Army, Marquis de Oroquieta, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo, of the Royal and Distinguished Order of Carlos III, of that of Military Merit, Red and White, and many others for feats of arms, Governor and Captain-General of the Philippine Islands, etc., etc., in the name of His Majesty the King of Spain, Alfonso XII, whom God keep, do confirm and ratify the above act of pacification and capitulation, in all its parts.

Manila, August 15, 1878.—Domingo Moriones.—True copy.—Tomas Aguirre de Mena.

Translation of the Sulu Text of the Treaty of 1878

This document is intended to confirm the treaty which was agreed upon by Padukka Mahasari Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Aʿlam and all the datus and chiefs of Sulu. These statements which we make shall be sent to His Majesty, the King of Spain, Don Alfonso XII, through His Excellency the Governor- General of the Philippines. All the country that the Sultan rules shall obey the orders of the King of Spain.

This in Likup, in the palace of Padukka Mahasari Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Aʿlam, on Monday the 22nd of July, 1878 A. D., or the 23rd of Rajab, 1295 A. H.

There met the Politico-Military Governor of Sulu, Señor Don Carlos Martinez y Romero, Colonel of Infantry; and the Commander of the Naval Station of Sulu, Colonel of Marine Infantry and Frigate Captain, Señor Don Francisco Fernandez de Alarcon y García and Señor Captain Alejo Alvarez, and Señor Don Pedro Ortuoste y García, the representatives of His Excellency the Governor-General of the Philippines.

Also present: Padukka Mahasari Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Aʿlam of Sulu, and Padukka Datu Mohammed Badarud Din, and Padukka Datu Raja Lawut Mohammed Zaynul ʿAbidin, and Padukka Datu Muluk Bandarasa Mohammed Pula, and Padukka Datu Mohammed Harun ar-Rashid who are properly obeyed by all their subjects.

The object of the meeting was to read, confirm, and sign the agreement presented by Padukka Mahasari Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul Aʿlam and all the datus, to His Excellency the Governor-General, on the 22nd day of Safar, 1295 A. H., or the 24th of February, 1878 A. D., which was approved by His Majesty the King of Spain, Alfonso XII, on the 3rd day of May, of this year, or the 2nd of Jamadil-Awal.

The following is the copy of the statements that were read:

This is the treaty of Spain with the Sultan and Datus of Sulu which was sent to His Majesty the King of Spain, Don Alfonso XII, through His Excellency the Governor-General of the Philippines.

Article I. All the people of Sulu and its Archipelago shall obey only the King of Spain, Alfonso XII, or whosoever shall succeed him. This being our wish, we will not change or turn away to any other nation.

Article II. The Spanish Government shall pay the Sultan an annual salary of 2,400 pesos, Mexican currency, and Padukka Datu Raja Muda Mohammed Badarud Din 700 pesos. It shall also pay 600 pesos to each of the three following datus, namely: Padukka Datu Raja Lawut Mohammed Zaynul ʿAbidin, Padukka Datu Muluk Bandarasa Mohammed Pula, and Padukka Datu Mohammed Harun ar-Rashid; this is to compensate them for the losses they suffered.

Article III. The Spanish Government may occupy any place it chooses along the northern coast of the island, from Sinungan to Bwal and as far as Kadungdung, but the southern coast of the island from Kadungdung to Sinungan shall be left for the Sultan; on condition, however, that it may be occupied by the Spanish Government in case of trouble with foreigners, at any future time. In case the plantations or fields of the people are appropriated for such occupation, they shall be compensated for. Houses, however, shall not be removed.

Article IV. The Sultan shall have the right to collect duties from all foreign merchants and ships of whatever nationality they may be, in case they come to our ports; but we have no right to collect duties from them when they come to ports occupied by the Spanish Government.

Article V. In case of disagreement between us and the governor of Sulu, or the commanders of war ships, the Sultan shall have the right to communicate with the Captain-General direct.

Article VI. All the people of Sulu can, if they choose, use muzzle-loading rifles and lantaka.5 They will, however, be required to present a certificate from two or three free people, of good reputation, to the effect that they (who use the firearms) are good and well-behaving people and that they do not use such arms for mischief. Under such conditions the Sultan may give a license.

Article VII. The Sultan has the right to give passports to Sulus wishing to travel for commercial purposes to whatever place they may go, on condition that they pass by Jolo to inform the Spanish governor of their destination. In case those of noble birth or the datus do not stop at Jolo, the Sultan himself shall inform the Governor, for they, as a rule, have the former’s consent to travel.

Article VIII. We will try to suppress all pirates; but in case we are unable to do so we will notify the Governor of their location. But in case we do not know where they are, we can not be held responsible for such information. We will also aid the Government with as many men as we can afford to bring together, and we shall be pleased to give guides who can tell the hiding places of such pirates.

Article IX. Our customs and usages, including our religion, shall not be changed. If there is any priest who desires to travel around in this country, he ought to inform the Sultan, so that he may send a companion with him; but in case he fails to ask permission and travels around without obeying this rule and is killed, the Sultan can not be held responsible for such results. The same condition shall govern in the case of all Spaniards and soldiers or any one else who may desire to live outside of the places agreed upon.

Article X. We guarantee to deliver all Christians who run away on account of crime; so also must the Spaniards treat us Mohammedans in case our servants and people run away to them. It would not be right for the Spaniards to hold or protect them.

Article XI. The Sulus and all the Sultan’s subjects have the right to trade in small or large boats whether they use flags or not; this on condition that they have passes; but in case they like to use a flag they must use the Spanish flag. The Sultan shall not use a flag of his own, but that of the King of Spain. All other datus and chiefs of the islands, whenever they use any flag, must use the Spanish commercial flag.

Article XII. The Spaniards and the Sultan shall fully observe the articles of this agreement which has to be ratified by the Spanish Government. We sincerely beg that, whenever there is any disagreement between us and the Spanish Governor concerning some crime, careful and proper investigation be made, without any undue haste to fight. We have full trust and confidence in the Spanish Government and expect that the Spanish Government will have similar trust in us.

Article XIII. It shall not be right to alter the articles of this agreement without the mutual consent of both parties.

Both parties having understood all the articles of this treaty do hereby confirm it all and certify to it. Said articles being identical with those which were presented by Padukka Mahasari Mawlana Sultan Mohammed Jamalul A’lam, signed by us in the palace in Likup, on the day mentioned above in this document.

I, Don Domingo Moriones y Murillo, Lieutenant-General of the National Army, Marquis de Oroquieta, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo, of the Royal and Distinguished Order of Carlos III, of that of Military Merit, Red and White, and many others for feats of arms, Governor and Captain-General of the Philippine Islands, etc., etc., in the name of His Majesty the King of Spain, Alfonso XII, whom God keep, do confirm and ratify the above act of pacification and capitulation, in all its parts.

Manila, August 15, 1878 A. D. (18, Sha’ban, 1295 A. H.)

Notes from Saleeby

The status of Sulu as defined by this treaty resembled that of a protectorate rather than a dependency. The internal administration of Sulu, its customs, laws, and religion were fully respected and were not subject to Spanish jurisdiction, confirmation, approval, or interference of any sort, except in matters pertaining to regulations for the use of firearms.

The foreign political relations of Sulu were made subject to the full control of the Philippine Government. This control (or sovereign right) was the chief motive for the war and was declared by the treaty indisputable. On the strength of this both England and Germany, in 1885, concluded a treaty with Spain recognizing her full sovereignty over the whole Sulu Archipelago, including Balabak and Kagayan Sulu. In that same treaty Spain relinquished all claims to that part of northeastern Borneo formerly ruled by the Sultans of Sulu; this being the territory administered by the British North Borneo Company. The commercial relations of Sulu with foreign countries were not submitted to Spanish supervision or control outside of the territory occupied by the garrisons, and the sultan was empowered to collect duties from foreign merchants and ships trading with Maymbung, Siasi, and other places not occupied by the Philippine Government.

The treaty on the whole secured for Spain the fruits of her conquest and established a stable condition of peace and safety throughout the whole Archipelago and in the neighboring southern seas. Foreign interference ceased, commerce revived, and trading routes were resumed without danger or risk.

Governor Martinez had a brilliant term of service marked by important results and excellent public improvements. He began the titanic labor of filling the swamps and brought the town of Jolo to its present level. He laid out its streets, plazas, parks, and trees, finished the tower of the Queen (blockhouse No. 2), and constructed the blockhouse of the playa at Tulay, the military hospital, the light-house and various bridges. A great part of this work was done by prison labor, 400 prisoners having been transferred from Manila to Jolo for this purpose. His administration marked the beginning of a period of prosperity to the colony and temporary peace with the Sulus. He reëstablished friendly relations with the sultan and datus and had success in many undertakings. Early in 1880 he fell sick and to the regret of all parties left Jolo for Manila.

Governor Martinez was relieved by Col. Rafael Gonzalez de Rivera, the fourth governor of Sulu, on February 3, 1880. Rivera followed in the steps of Martinez, but circumstances changed as the sultan’s health declined, and the sultana’s political intrigues divided the state into two hostile parties. On March 30 the scouts at the tower of the Queen were attacked by a band of Sulus, who killed 2 privates, and wounded 1 sergeant and 6 privates. However, the Sulus were repulsed, losing 12 men dead. The sultan, when called upon to punish the transgressors, responded promptly, went to Lu’uk and chastised them severely. In December of the same year Datu Pula reported some juramentados in the suburbs, two of whom were encountered by the troops; one was killed and the other fled.

After the treaty of 1878, Jamalul A’lam established his official residence at Maymbung and acted in a dignified and creditable manner. He observed the terms of the treaty faithfully until his death. He was intelligent, vigorous, and willing to learn. He received Spanish and native visitors with befitting courtesy and was well respected and endeared himself to everybody who knew him. Following the example of his father, he published a code of laws which is said to have been milder than that of his predecessors. It is no doubt a modification or a reproduction of the code used by Pulalun and Jamalul Kiram I. It was in current use in the country at the time of the Spanish evacuation in 1899.

Jamalul A’lam lived an honorable life and kept one wife only for the greater part of the time. He repudiated the mother of his eldest son, Badarud Din, and loved tenderly Pangian Inchi Jamila, the mother of his second, Amirul Kiram. Inchi Jamila was not very beautiful, but she was attractive, intelligent, active, and comparatively young. She associated with her husband in the administration of affairs and wielded considerable influence on the chiefs and council of state. She was very generous and entertaining, and won the respect of the majority of the datus. Wishing to secure the sultanate for her son, Amirul Kiram, she attempted to alienate Badarud Din from his father and used her influence on the council to that end. Intrigues followed and the state divided into two factions, partisans of Amirul Kiram and Pangian Inchi Jamila and partisans of Badarud Din, the rightful heir. Jamalul A’lam managed affairs with a strong hand and kept all parties united, but early in 1881 his health began to decline rapidly and his favorite wife meddled all the more with the affairs of the state. The knowledge of her schemes soon spread, and as it became known that Jamalul A’lam was actually failing, disorder arose and a condition bordering on anarchy prevailed.

On the 22d of February armed Sulus attempted to force the gates of Jolo, but they were repulsed and most of them were killed. The sultan grew worse and disturbances increased. The front of the plaza of Jolo became an arena of war, several attacks were made on the town, and conditions became so bad that Rivera requested reënforcements from the Governor-General and permission to take the field against the hostile parties. The request was forwarded through the governor of Mindanao, who indorsed the communication, recommending that he be empowered to decide whether reënforcements were needed or not, and in case they were needed, to lead the troops himself. This being granted, the governor of Mindanao came to Jolo, reported unfavorably, and returned to Zamboanga.

References

  1. The History of Sulu, page 227-240, Najeeb M. Saleeby, Manila, Bureau of Public Printing 1908, Gutenberg release Date: January 3, 2013 [Gutenberg EBook #41771]


2,569

Comments (The last treaty between the Sultanate of Sulu and Spain, the Treaty of July 1878)