Quest for a heart-A A +A
One Small Voice
Friday, March 15, 2013
IT HAS never been about pride. It has always been about honor.
Maybe, or surely for that matter, it is also about money, and lots of it. The problem is that one party is getting it and the other party is not.
This is the long and short of the story, for centuries now, of Sabah and the forward and backward movement of our claim, once active, then dormant, and now uncertain as uncertain can be, at least as far as the official position of our government is concerned.
Admittedly, Malaysia is our neighbor and friend. The fact that it is our neighbor is clear. The fact that it is our friend, if this is indeed a fact, is just not as clear as we want it to be.
There are those who think that Malaysia has successfully, but in the most scheming way, made it appear that it is helping us, but actually it is helping itself.
There are those who think that Malaysia wants peace in Mindanao, as it has consistently been at the forefront of brokering talks and monitoring compliance with agreements ensuring the cessation of hostilities, but actually it is surreptitiously supporting the liberation armies or the secessionist movements.
There are those who think that Malaysia finds the signing of the framework agreement as the jump-off point for the signing of a final peace pact, but actually it finds it as something that is doomed to fail sooner or later.
There are those who think that Malaysia believes that so long as we are busy thwarting rebellions and responding to security threats that never seem to stop or end, we will never dare to create more problems by acting on our Sabah claim.
There are those who think that Malaysia has implemented this strategy of divide and conquer for the longest time.
Whether or not these conspiracy theories, if at all they are conspiracy theories, are true and correct, the fact of the matter is that dozens of Filipinos are now dead due to the recent Sabah standoff, and the rest are being hunted and will likewise be killed when located due to the ongoing military operations.
To be sure, wives or husbands have been widowed and children have been orphaned. Furthermore, thousands are being displaced by the day, and by the night. Moreover, based on videos, stolen shots or otherwise, professional media or amateur, based on accounts, horror stories but true-to-life, first-hand or hearsay, thousands are being treated like animals.
We see our fellow Filipinos being driven away like animals, fearful of their lives, unmindful already about their properties, just dear life, nothing anymore about material things.
We see our fellow Filipinos being captured like animals, punished by caning, which should no longer have a place anywhere in the world in this day and age.
We see our fellow Filipinos being jam-packed like animals, inside cages called schools, eating porridge in food bowls.
We see our fellow Filipinos being lost like animals, not knowing what to do, anymore, not knowing where to go, anymore, just waiting for the next bowl of food, if it comes, when it comes.
This atrocity has to stop. This atrocity has to end. Our government must begin to act, beyond food bowls. The international community must begin to act, beyond words, and words, and words. This is no longer a quest for a piece of land. This is already a quest for a heart.
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Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 15, 2013.