Condemn the US-Aquino regime’s high-handed approach to the Sabah conflict

Apr. 13, 2013

Press Statement
07 April 2013

The National Democratic Front of the Philippines in Mindanao (NDFP-Mindanao) condemns in the strongest possible terms the continuing crackdown initiated by the reactionary governments of the Philippines and Malaysia against the Sabah-based citizens of Mindanao ancestry, Tausug and other Moro Filipinos in Sabah.  This act of
brutally crushing a people’s movement seeking genuine sovereignty and defending the right to self-determination is nothing short of reprehensible.

Over the course of centuries, the Sultanate of Sulu has had asserted its rightful claim over Sabah.  This territorial claim, however, has neither been seriously settled in formal talks between the Sulu Sultanate and the governments of the Philippines and Malaysia, nor has it been tried in any international court.

Before the skirmishes in Lahad Datu, the US-Aquino regime has ignored the issue on Sabah despite repeated calls for talks from Jamalul Kiram III, the Sultan of Sulu.  Previous regimes have also deliberately neglected the plea of the Sultanate of Sulu and the Moro people, who, for many years, have suffered economic exploitation, oppression and social deprivation.

In foisting its arbitrary solution to the resurgence of the Sabah claim, the US-Aquino regime has only been quick to prove its righteous hypocrisy against the Sultanate of Sulu by approaching the Sabah crisis with sheer state arrogance and fascism.  More than just
threatening to file criminal charges against the armed supporters of Sultan Kiram III, it has most brazenly instigated, in collaboration with the government of Malaysia, the harassment, torture and mass slaughter of the members of the “Royal Sulu Army” in Sabah.

This high-handed and outright suppression approach of the US-Aquino regime is an act to placate the reactionary government of Malaysia for its support in clinching the pact with the MILF, as well as a desperately preserving the “credibility” of the same pact, which it had used to deceptively induce the gradual but certain “decommissioning” of the MILF’s Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).  Benigno Aquino III wants it so bad to impress that he has achieved “peace” in Mindanao, when in fact, even with the much-vaunted Framework on the Bangsamoro, the armed conflict continues to rage in the island, especially among the Moro people.

Furthermore, the late Sen. Benigno Aquino and Corazon Aquino, parents of Benigno Aquino III, were both servile to the interests of the Malaysian government and placed the Philippines’ claim to Sabah almost to irrelevance in order to preserve the business interests of the Cojuangco-Aquino clan in Malaysia.  The current regime simply consented to the torture and massacre of Filipino Moros in Sabah by Malaysian authorities consistent with the profit-making interests of Benigno Aquino III’s big bourgeois comprador-landlord clan.

With its deeply ingrained fascism, the US-Aquino regime has only succeeded to further irate the people of Sulu, insulting the sensibilities of the Tausugs loyal to the Sultanate, virtually pushing the people of Sulu to stand their ground and continue with their tradition as fearless warriors, even to the point of death.

Consequently, the ensuing onslaught in Sabah has resulted in a number of grisly human rights violations, including the illegal arrest, detention, torture and the summary killing of a number of Sabah residents of Mindanao ancestry, Tausug and other Moro Filipinos. The body count in Sabah continues to rise.  Moreover, Filipino workers who are based in Sabah and the rest of Malaysia have lost their jobs, most of whom have suffered being ostracized and are unfairly deported back to the country.

The Sultanate of Sulu must never allow the fate of the Jabidah massacre victims to befall upon its own people.  It must strive to put an end to the US-Aquino regime and Malaysian government-sponsored torture and massacre of both Sabah and Sulu peoples, and seek to unite with the rest of the Filipino people in the fight against national oppression.

The Filipino people, in general, has to be critical of the situation in Sulu and Sabah because, in effect, it opens an opportunity for US armed forces to directly intervene in the conflict, using this precarious situation as a pretext to accelerate its forward deploymentin Southeast Asia in pursuit of its Asia Pivot strategy.

Under this context, the NDFP-Mindanao enjoins the people of Sulu to unite with the rest of the Moro people, the people of Mindanao and the country to fundamentally pursue the fight for the right to self-determination within the home front.

And, at the same time, it is imperative to wage armed struggle alongside with the People’s Democratic Revolution against national oppression, exploitation and imperialist domination, because with our revolutionary victory, then and only then, can our people fully attain true sovereignty and just and lasting peace.


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