There’s an ongoing propaganda war on Sabah issue: Aquino-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III said Wednesday that there is an ongoing propaganda war with regard to the Sabah issue.
The Chief Executive, in his speech in General Santos City where he accompanied the senatorial bets of Team PNoy, defended his position of calling for a peaceful resolution of the issue by persuading the followers of the sultan of Sulu to go back home.
"Right now there is an ongoing propaganda war," he said.
The President said the rights of the heirs of the Sulu sultanate must be clarified because there were reports in the past saying these rights were relegated to the Philippine government to pursue the Sabah ownership.
Aquino mentioned in his speech a paper presented by then Senator Ambrosio Padilla on March 29, 1968 showing a February 1, 1968 document containing a power of attorney allegedly executed by the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu in favor of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.
The document was said to be recognizing the authority and power of the President to represent them in their settlement of their propriety rights over Sabah.
Aquino indicated that if there would be anyone to be blamed why the Sabah claim issue occurred, it should be the ancestors of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
"They (Kiram family) are claiming Sabah, (but) where did the problem arise that they don't own it anymore? Isn't it from their ancestors who granted the lease or authority to a British (company) to govern Sabah?" he said.
But given that, the President reiterated that what he wanted was to have a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in Lahad Datu, Sabah, between the Royal Army of Sulu and the Malaysian authorities.
Aquino said that the ongoing problem in Sabah may also spoil the gains achieved by Malaysia and the Philippines particularly the stability in Mindanao after Kuala Lumpur successfully brokered the peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Despite Malaysia's previous animosity towards the Philippines, the Philippine-Malaysia relations improved dramatically in the past several decades with the Malaysians aiding the Philippines achieve Mindanao peace, he said.
It is regrettable that the improved relations between the two countries could be shattered by the Sabah instability, he added.
Everyone involved must clarify the issue because at stake is the national interest and welfare, the President said.
The Sabah conflict began on February 12, when Malaysia's government said an estimated 100-300 armed Filipinos had landed in a territory and claimed sovereignty over it.
After the initial standoff, violence erupted last week with a deadly shootout. On Tuesday Malaysian security forces launched a massive campaign to flush out the armed Filipinos. They said 27 have died in the shootouts and related violence. (SDR/Sunnex)