Saturday, March 2, 2013

Twelve Martyrs of Sulu and the Philippine Government loss of credibility

Fourteen dead after a firefight broke out between the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysian security forces. The question now that many people are asking--what is the government doing about it? Twelve Filipinos died in that firefight and based on the principle of parens patria, government is supposed to attend to this quite seriously.

But, how do you expect this government to act the right way when it does not even have the capability of gathering accurate ground information? Yesterday, the very spokesperson of the President committed a grave error when he started blurting out disinformation. Secretary Ricky Carandang, who was earlier reported to have resigned his post only to deny it, said that the "firefight" never occurred and that the Malaysian forces only fired a "warning shot". Local Government secretary Mar Roxas further complicated this when he publicly blamed the Kirams for the incident, accusing the Sultan of Sulu of being "hard headed".

Worse, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the very same agency tasked to investigate or conduct an investigation, literally parroted what their Malaysian counterparts declared, without even appending the term " alleged" or "reported" to the information being given to them. The DFA further helped the Malaysians in spreading disinformation through a formal presscon which Assistant Secretary Hernandez called. The DFA is supposed to give information on what it itself gathered, and not depend on the note verbale or the report of the Malaysian envoy.

It goes without saying that the Philippine government acted like the Malaysian official newspaper and if you look at this very closely, even served as the disinformation agency of the Malaysians.

The Philippine government lost all shred of credibility yesterday, in the eyes of the Kirams, the Tausugs and the Islamic Community. The very act of the State yesterday clearly shows how it treats the Sabah issue---this government has literally abandoned this claim.

How then, will the Kirams trust this government when it acts contrary to what is expected of it? The Malaysian envoy is correct---the standoff ended yesterday because the very act of the Philippine government has clearly isolated the Sultanate of Sulu from the rest of the archipelago.

Since the Philippine Government has clearly shown its partiality with the Malaysians, it has now negated whatever moral influence it exerts to the Peoples of the Sultanate of Sulu. The Sultan may well not involve the Philippine government anymore in its claim, and pursue its claim to the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC), of which Malaysia is a member.

For that to happen, the Sultanate of Sulu must wrest itself free from the clutches of Imperial Manila and declare its independence. The Sultan's next move therefore, is not to annex Sabah at this point--it must complete its political struggle against the Philippine Government first and foremost. I will not be surprised if the peoples of Jolo, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi will again declare a war of independence.

Let me then dedicate this space to the twelve brave Islamic Martyrs who sacrificed their lives for their country. These pious ones must be named, and proclaimed throughout the country. Their extraordinary courage and bravery are shining examples of how pure and proud this race truly is. How glorious their deaths are! It is very rare for someone to die due to his principles.