MANILA - On the 23rd day of the Sabah standoff that escalated into an all-out Malaysian offensive, the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo headed by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III declared a "unilateral ceasefire" in Sabah, Malaysia.
The sultanate announced this at Astanah Kiram, Maharlika Village, Taguig City, at about 12:26 shortly after noon.
With tears in his eyes, an obviously happy sultan led a press conference with some of his siblings standing behind him.
It is tears of joy, he admitted to the media.
He was joyful because he learned that the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has urged "an end to the violence" in a statement issued today.
Abraham J. Idjirani, spokesman of the sultan and the sultanate, said the ceasefire from the sultanate was in response to the UN statement.
He also added that it was also because of what he said was "reported massacre committed by Malaysian authorities against 40 innocent civilians in Lahad Datu yesterday.
With his truce in place, the sultan asked Malaysia to reciprocate.
"The ball is in Malaysia's hands," said Idjirani.