10 March 2013
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno dared today candidates running for senator in this year’s elections to speak up against the reported violence being inflicted on Filipinos in Sabah by the Malaysian police, saying all Filipinos especially the senatoriables should address the dire situation of our compatriots in the contested territory.
Filipinos who fled Sabah are saying that Malaysian police forces are killing and arresting Filipinos, whether illegal immigrants or permanent residents, and are confirming earlier reports that a crackdown against Filipinos is already underway.
“Candidates for the Senate should not go on campaigning as if Filipinos are not being killed or harmed in Sabah even as we speak. They should make statements condemning the appalling crime being committed against Filipinos there,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
“They should speak up in favor of the country’s territorial claim to Sabah. They should condemn Pres. Noynoy Aquino for cheering the Malaysian government’s massacre of Filipinos. That is the most pro-Filipino stand on this issue,” he added.
“They should not go on making noises with their television and radio advertisements while maintaining a deafening silence on a most pertinent issue. Lives are at stake on the Sabah issue and they should not waste more time in making their voices heard,” he said.
The labor center reacted to Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero’s claim that senatoriables should not capitalize on the Sabah issue in order to advance their campaign and that Pres. Noynoy Aquino should be given a free hand to decide how to handle the issue.
“Speaking up on an issue that is of urgent importance to Filipinos is not necessarily electioneering. Filipinos want to hear senatoriables’ stands on important issues more than their campaign slogans and jingles,” Labog said.
“It is clear that Pres. Aquino is in the wrong in his handling of the Sabah dispute. Not only has he failed to assert the country’s territorial claims over the area, he has legitimized the massacre of Filipinos there,” he added.
“Now is the time to speak up. The way things are going, more Filipinos will be harmed and killed if Aquino continues to have his way on this issue,” he said.
He said workers and the urban poor will hold protests against the Aquino government’s betrayal of the country’s territorial claim to Sabah and its collusion with the Malaysian government in massacring Filipinos in the area.
Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597