ON DOUBLE STANDARDS : THE PHILIPPINES’ CLAIM TO SABAH, PANATAG AND SPRATLYS


Sabah Massacre

The Sabah Massacre?

I was on my newsfeed an hour ago and I was shocked to see a photo showing some of the killed followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in a recent surprise raid by the Malaysian authorities. Those in the photo may have been the 12 slain members of the “Royal Sulu Sultanate Army”. Note that 2 Malaysian commandos were killed too.

Kiram’s followers, estimated at 100 to 300 people, have been holed up in a remote village of Lahad Datu on North Borneo since February 12 to press the sultan’s claim to Sabah. They sailed from Mindanao and were led by the sultan’s brother and crown prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram. They say they didn’t fire the first shot.

About the Photo

Though I can’t verify the authenticity of the photo itself as I just saw it on my newsfeed (click here), I believe that whatever happened with these men is not right. Whether the gruesome image here was that of the recent raid in Sabah or not, I don’t think that killing people like this whether Filipinos or Malaysians or whatever nationality is ever justifiable even in the rule of law – Muslims, Christians and the rest.

When criminals are killed with excessive force or not, we cry for human rights. Soldiers have human rights too! They have families as well! This is the very same reason why we all hate wars or any form of armed conflicts. Thus, we all should work hard for peace no matter how hard it can be. Whether this photo is real or not, I am writing this for one good reason – peace.

Just Speaking One’s Mind

While reading the article on the photo, I could not stop from thinking why the reaction of the public with regards to our Sabah claim was a bit colder than that of the spats we had with China over Panatag Shoal and the Spratlys. The Philippine Government has not even protested yet though those 12 killed were Filipinos too.

With the Panatag Standoff, our government was bold enough to challenge the China government on its claim over some group of islands along the South China Sea which was later renamed to West Philippine Sea. With the Sabah claim, the Philippines was more submissive to Malaysia. Whatever the reason is, I hope it’s for the better.

As a Filipino, all I want is peace without having to compromise justice. If the Kiram family has all the right to claim for Sabah, l would expect the government to support them. The state has to protect its people, their rights and properties. Otherwise, if Malaysia really owns Sabah, then so be it. We’ve had enough bloodshed!

A Quick Background

The Islamic Sultanate of Sulu once controlled parts of Borneo as well as southern Philippine islands. In the 1870s, it leased northern Borneo to Europeans. While the sultanate’s authority gradually faded as Western colonial powers exerted their influence over the region, it continued to receive lease payments for Sabah. The former British colony became part of the federation of Malaysia when it was formed in 1963. Kiram and the other heirs of the sultan still receive nominal annual compensation from Malaysia – the equivalent of about $1,700. – Yahoo! News

Royal Sulu Army Massacre

‘Double standards’ – Poli Ticks via Facebook

Kabataan Partylist also criticized the way that the government “essentially gave up” on the Sabah claim too easily with President Aquino even quoted as saying that it is a “hopeless cause,” even if the sultanate of Sulu has compelling historical and legal bases to back its claim.

“While the government is vehemently opposing Chinese occupation of Spratlys and Panatag Shoal, it essentially raised the white flag in Sabah without hesitation, even if it is clear that the Philippines has a strong case to claim sovereignty over the disputed land,” Ridon said.

Kabataan Partylist called on the government to actively pursue diplomatic talks with the Malaysian government and ensure that no more casualties would result from the stand-off.

“We also call on the government to support and revive the Sabah claim with fervor, and raise the issue to international courts if necessary,” Ridon said.

Source : Poli Ticks via Facebook