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Today’s View: A question of patriotic fealty

Mar. 12, 2013

As a Filipino, it is our patriotic duty to abide by the Sultan who has pursued the claim not only for the Sultanate but ultimately for the Philippine State.  We cannot just leave him and our other Filipino compatriots at the mercy of a foreign government who has shown no respect for human rights, indiscriminately brutalizing Filipinos in the area.

By DON J. PAGUSARA
Davao Today

The Sabah Problem has gone out of bounds and has spilled to multifaceted crises.  It now behooves every Filipino to harness his socio-moral responsibilities to contribute to the resolution of the problem.

No doubt, the action of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, together with his loyal warriors and followers, is borne out of historical facts that serve as premises for the Sultanate’s claim to Sabah.  Certainly these are a priori questions presumably ascertained.

No doubt, the contested Sabah territory used to be the property of the Sulu Sultanate long before the Philippine archipelago became a Filipino nation created by the Spanish colonialists.

No doubt there were legal proprietary transactions that transpired at some point in the history of the Sulu Sultanate vis-à-vis the State of Malaysia.  Is it not a fact that Sabah was leased to an entity of the State of Malaysia sometime in the distant past?

If so, this historical fact definitely factored in the present controversy, making the Sulu Sultanate’s claim a legitimate act.

Conscious of this historically antecedent event, can we not in our heart of hearts sympathize with the current action of Sultan Kiram in Sabah which unfortunately resulted in the “standoff” and the subsequent tragic incidents in the area?

As a Filipino, it is our patriotic duty to abide by the Sultan who has pursued the claim not only for the Sultanate but ultimately for the Philippine State.  We cannot just leave him and our other Filipino compatriots at the mercy of a foreign government who has shown no respect for human rights, indiscriminately brutalizing Filipinos in the area.

Apropos of this, it is therefore unfortunate that President Benigno Aquino III promptly issued a statement which in effect questioned not only the legality of the Sabah claim but unwittingly took a position adverse to that of his own constituent.

We witness another case of how our government has been wishy-washy in asserting the rights of its own citizens who find themselves in a conflict situation with a foreign country.

It has been the accustomed stance of Malacañang to allow things to develop to the brink of uncontrollable proportions before it would act with dispatch.  Always, the government plays insensitive to the plight of its constituency in dire situations before it decides with deliberate haste.

If President Aquino had only harnessed its power and authority promptly, the unnecessary violent skirmishes could have been averted.  The calamitous situations that have sprung up consequent to the eruption of violence — the displacement of thousands of Filipinos could have been avoided.

Now Malacañang is faced with multifaceted crises and can only be counted among the blameworthy agents of this regrettable and unfortunate happenstance.

Don J. Pagusara is a native of Mindanao, a multi-awarded author and a Palanca-awardee.

  • The Sulu Sultanate is not existed after 1917.

    The sovereignty of the Sultanate was dissolved in 1917. The last sultan recognized by the Philippine government is Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram, who reigned from 1974-1986. On 24 May 1974, Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos issued a Presidential Memorandum Order 427 that recognised Datu Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram as the Sultan of Sulu in a public coronation. He is the eldest son of Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram.

    On 12 September 1962, Vice President and concurrently Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Philippines, Mr. Emmanuel Pelaez together with Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram signed a “Instrument of cession of the territory of North Borneo by His Highness Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram , Sultan of Sulu”.

  • You idiots tortured and beheaded our policemen alive. The videos are uploaded to internet is a concrete proof that Kiram III’s followers are a group of Muslim terrorists like Al-Queda.

    We have more 500 Ibs bombs ready to drop on your head, Don J. Pagusra if you dare to invade Sabah.

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