THE ORIGIN OF SIASI, SULU
(Seat of the North Borneo Tribute)
(Seat of the North Borneo Tribute)
Siasi was formerly known as the Island of Muddas it was a center of trading in the Sulus aside from Jolo and Basilan from and to North Borneo and the Malayas. Named after its founder Datu Muddas since the 15th century. He was Brunei’s Royal Explorer for trade and barter markets comprising of goods and merchandises, such as; brass, musical instruments, agongs, salt, spices, fruits, weavens and perfumes. Indicative of what sort of men came to the island market. Some of these sort of men tend to abuse this island and plundered its people.
Datu Muddas was a brave and powerful man who looked after the welfare and wellbeing of this island market and of its people. He acted as judge, jury and prosecutor in suppressing crimes. In 1704 Datu Muddas was joined with his cousin Sayyid Nakhoda Perkasa Angging the grandson of 1363 Brunei Sultan Mohamad Shah (Zein Ul-Abidin Abu’bkr Sharif Ul-Hashim). The Nakhoda was Brunei’s fleet admiral or laksamana and was Brunei’s Maharaja in the Sulus with his flags of authority being Brunei Sultan’s twin authority.
Sayyid Nakhoda Perkasa Angging was known as Maharaja Anddin, as a maulana or protector of the North Borneo tribute ceded to the Sulu Sultanate by Brunei, so not be ceded to foreign powers as Palawan instead was ceded to the Spanish Government in Manila by Sulu Sultan Sahab-Uddin in 1705.
In 1838, American vessels were in Sulu doing exploring expeditions and in 1842 the Americans signed a treaty with Sulu Sultan Pulalun, the latter assuring the safety of American vessels in the Sulus. The Sultan forwarning the Americans of the possible danger in the Island Market of Muddas Island, for American presence there may lead to civil unrest and uprising against foreigners being a threat to the barter-trading-business. Besides, the Island need not be explored being already a center of trade and industry with heavy populace.
The American’s reply to the Sultan’s advised was, quote: “I see”, unquote. The island was then referred to by the Sultan’s men as; “Asi” while Datu Muddas was likewise referred to as, “Datu Asi”. During the Spanish encroachment in the Muslim Sultanates National Archipelago since 1521, Spain presented the Spanish Protocol Treaty of 1862 to Sulu Sultan Pulalun for Spanish Visiting Sovereignty Rights or Pretensions of Sovereignty in the Sulus.
In 1880, Spain established four garrisons camps in Jolo. Spaniards venturing to the island of Asi, they asked the inhabitants of what island was this. They were told that it was the Island of “Siya Asi”. Repeatedly said to the Spaniards, the Spaniard acknowledged, saying; “Si” meaning “yes”, “Si Asi?” or meaning “Yes Asi?”, the Spanish also farther referred to the Island as “Siasi” and to this day known as Siasi.
Siasi was later a center of the Spanish administration in the Sulus and its first Spanish Municipal Government was Gov. Cillo. Governor Cillo halted as captain of the Island (Siasi) and created positions, such as; Teniente Absolute, Cura Paroca, Queces de Samontara y de Policia and Maestra Municipale.
The Municipal Government Positions were designated to Local Suluans. The Governor’s Seat was in Siasi and this position was as Alcade Governador. Suluan Municipal Employees were:
- Maharaja Adinda Taup (Crown Prince of Sultan Pulalun and Son of Sayyid Nakhoda Perkasa Angging or Maharaja Anddin) became Siasi’s first so-called Alcade of Siasi made as Panglima of His people, for the Sulus. After the latter’s 19 years mission from 1862 in preventing Spanish and American encroachments from the southern coast of Selurong or Luzon that foreign encroacher’s government issuing warnings not to venture South of Luzon without heavy escorts or armada.
- Mandaring Mora Appi
- Panglima Paha
- Panglima Bainuddin Baud, the father-in-law of Maharaja Adinda Taup, who had lived and administered in Jambangan-Zamboanga for Maguindanao Sultan Qudarat. Panglima Bainuddin Baud giving his properties of Musu, Lapal, Sibaud, Tapaan and Manubol to his dauther Millang who had married Maharaja Adinda Taup.
- Panglima Nuluddin
- Datu Amilussin
- Datu Dakula
13. Datu Yacub
Since after the 1862 Spanish Protocol Treaty whereby Sultan Pulalun (Moh. Fad’lun) transferred his seat into the hinterlands, Jamalul Agdam in 1878 presented himself as the Sultan of Sulu to two British subjects signing and delivering North Borneo-Sabah to the British North Borneo Company in a Leased Treaty acclaiming to be the supposed son of Sultan Pulalun (the latter being childless and who already have his heir-apparent to succeed him – The 1859 Maharaja Adinda Taup) and signing His name in the lease treaty as Sultan Jamalul Alam.
In 1881, Badaruddin-II acclaimed himself as Sultan of Sulu as being the supposed son of Sultan Jamalul Alam (Agdam) thou the latter was also childless and being feminine-like. Other usurpers as Alimmuddin, Harun Ar-Rashid and Amirul Kiram Awal-II also acclaimed themselves as Sultan of Sulu underming the existence of the Rightful Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo who was at the hinterlands, Sultan Pulalun.
One reigned North of Jolo, one in South of Jolo and one in the Center of Jolo by contending usurper-Sultans: Badaruddin-II, Alimmuddin and Amirul Kiram Awal-II. That, also in 1881, the Spanish Government having trusting influenced on Alimmuddin’s uncle, Harun Ar-Rashid, proclaimed the latter as Sultan of Sulu for Spanish expediency and intents-and- purposes.
In 1884, Amirul Kiram Awal-II was proclaimed by his Direct followers as Sultan of Sulu in the name Sultan Jamalul Kiram-II and as being the supposed son of the 1823 Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram-I (Muwalil Wasit). However, Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram-I (Muwalil Wasit) is the father of Sultan Pulalun (Moh. Fad’lun). The Sulus and particularly Siasi and its people were so confused that each islanders were apprehensive and distant with other islanders or folks of different islands in Sulu.
The Treaty of Paris of December 10, 1898 whereby Spain sold the Muslim Sultanate National Archipelago to the United States for $20 Million Dollars using the 1862 Protocol Treaty as Spains proof of proprietary ownership upon us; that in 1899, a year after, Maj-General Jens A. Doe of the U.S. Army 41st Division and with the visible presence of the actual reigning Sulu Sultan Pulalun at the hinterlands met with appertaining plans to remove usurper-Sultan Jamalul Kiram-II, finally in the 1915 Carpenter Memorandum Agreement in exchange of collecting taxes from the people. The latter plan declined by Sultan Pulalun and His Heir Apparent – Maharaja Adinda Taup; The 1915 Carpenter Agreement only recognized the Sultan then as highest spiritual leader, Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa who replaced Jamalul Kiram-II in 1915.
1915 Usurper-Sultan Jamalul Kiram-II surrendered to the Americans His temporal powers stepping down into retirement in exchanged of a lifetime pension given by the Americans and positions of His Datos under the U.S. Department of Mindanao and Sulu. The Americans unfamiliar to the respect of the doctrine of a Sultan’s temporal-political Powers and ecclesiastical-religious powers indivisible in nature by which Islamic States are founded upon.
And so, a replacement had have to succeeded, Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, the son of Maharaja Adinda Taup as by the Ruma Bichara Council of elders by consultation with Sultan Pulalun and as ratified concurred by Brunei Sultan Jamal Ul-Alam II. The former recognized by the Americans as only Highest Spiritual Leader. Unkowingly by which a Sultan is also such.
Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa as Tacit Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo propagated the literacy campaign for His people establishing the old Lapak Farm School catering to students from all over the Sulu Archipelago. Industrial development of Sulu by the support of Gov. Frank Carpenter of the U.S. Department of Mindanao and Sulu enabling the emergence of roads, buildings, water system and wharfs (jambatan), as well as schools were affected by the deposed sovereign and highest spiritual leader, Sharif Imam UI-Alam Arpa, who was later designated by the American Administration as Municipal President of the Sulu Archipelago seated in Siasi.
His brother, Panglima Julkarnain Taup, as Deputy Municipal President, Brother Panglima Lakibul Taup as Police Officer. After the death of Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa in 1934. The titles were changed to Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Police Chief, respectively. During the U.S. Commonwealth Government in 1935, the first governor of the Sulu Archipelago seated in Siasi was Gov. Arolas Tulawie with Deputy-Gov.Sharif Jadjurie Arpa. He was later succeeded by Gov. Sharif Moh. Jadjurie Arpa and the latter's deputy was Vice-Governor Susulan.
The governorship was later changed to Mayor and Vice-Mayor after the turn of World War II making Sharif Moh. Jadjurie Arpa the very first Governor and very first Mayor of the Sulu Archipelago under the new Philippine Republic followed by the following who had held other positions:
- Konghen Teo
- Sandakan Taup Adjaluddin
- Amman Abubakar
- Giokhio Que
The Office of the Justice of the Peace was instituted in the Municipal Government of Siasi as the seat of government. The following judges served in the municipal government as justice of the peace:
- Pedro Martinez
- Mariano Leon
- Haji Gulamu Rasul (Brother or Son of Sultanate Chief Minister Buto Abdulbaki Rasul)
- C.P. Vedanivo
- Jeno Suarez
- Martin Paulate
- Asaas “Taa” Usman
- Mariano Managula
The Office of the Municipal Treasurer in Siasi was served by the following treasurers in Chronological order:
- Montano (Grandfather of Recto Taup Montano)
- Vicente Pereyra
- Ubaldo V. Santos
- Berto Liberato
- Karias Carreon
- Pascual Concepcion
- Arip Taup (Brother of Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, Grandfather of Truman)
- Dammang Aking
- Geraldo Concepcion
Chief of Police position was held by the following:
- Panglima Muahamad
- Lakibul Taup (Brother of Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, Father of Kumkum and Palma)
- Pedro Ignacio
- Maximo Abubakar
- Engtat Kong
From 1915 to 1934, under the U.S. Military Administration Sharif Imam Ul-Alam Arpa, the highest Spiritual Leader of the Sultanate of Sulu Archipelago, significant developments occurred through Him by the Americans, such as; His Literacy Campaign with Suppt. Ismoyer or Panglima Puti, Schools and with Gov. Frank Carpenter of the Dept. of Mindanao and Sulu were Roads, Water Systems and Wharfs – Jambatan. Telegraphs, Electric Lightings, Buildings, Educational Institute, Hospitals, Super Markets, Asphalted Roads, Public Transportation/Conveyances, Survey of Public Lands for Public Distribution, Marine Cablegrams, Courthouses, Prisons and Electrocution Chamber. Way through 1946 and most importantly, He prohibited slavery. Then the Ardor of Western Democracy was spreading.
Later democratic electoral processes in the municipal local governance in the Sulu Archipelago proceeded and unto the present, such as the office of the Justice and Peace instituted were the following judges:
- Jaime Bawasanta
- Kawti Lim
- Abdurasid Bello
- Jose Angeles
Office of the Municipal Treasurer:
- Sington Lim
- Sulay Allian
Municipal Secretary: Amping Lim
Siasi, the Seat of Brunei’s Maharaja in the Sulu for the North Borneo – tribute ceded to its kinship the Sulu Sultanate, became a province under foreign administration to the present.