Editorial: Bind to history-A A +A
Sunday, March 3, 2013
WE CAN understand why President Benigno C. Aquino III would rather not have the Sultanate of Sulu rocking the boat and claiming Sabah. It’s the most inconvenient time. He’d rather that people focus on Philippines’ claim to Spratly’s than Sabah. It’s election season, my foot!
But the manner by which he brushed off the standoff like the group who were staking claim on Sabah were a bunch of gungho nitwits is what grates at our nerves; somehow underlining who the real nitwit is.
The absence of our national leaders’ sense of history is a constant reminder to Mindanaoans of what we are up against. This same sense of history that is apparent in other regions and country is what creates a stronger sense of nationhood.
Us? Majority do not even know that there are still heirs to the Sultanates. Worse, they were never aware there were Sultanates in Mindanao who ruled way before Magellan lost his way and found the eastern shores of what will later be named after his King, the Philippines, instead of the Spice Islands. We were taught that in school, but were never taught that even before Magellan lost his way and the friars arrived in galleons to take over, Mindanao was already ruled by sultans who were doing brisk business because of the Spice Trade.
But then, the President and his men refuse to give even a semblance of respect for the Sultanate; after all, that wasn’t taught in our history books when we were kids. That is what riles most.
With no sense of history, respect is lost and only the present matters, where the present says, China is claiming our tiny out there in South China Sea or West Philippine Sea, let’s regard these heirs of the sultan as troublemakers so as not to fall off the graces of Malaysia.
This could have been a chance for the President to expound on what the Sabah claim is all about and where it came from, while underlining that his administration is not keen on staking that claim. But no, he’d rather brush off that huge chunk of history of Mindanao and look down on a lineage that has preceded by centuries upon centuries, the history of the Aquino and Sumulong clans.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 04, 2013.