President Aquino and his Team PNoy senatorial candidates must be having Mindanao and Sabah-related nightmares these days.
Malacañang’s mishandling of the Sabah issue has enraged not only the Muslims in Mindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi. Even non-Muslims feel strongly about the President’s bungling.
The killing of Filipino Muslims happened in areas of Lahad Datu in Sabah where the followers of the Sultanate of Sulu went to reclaim what they believe was rightfully theirs. Now they are the object of search-and-destroy operations by the combined Malaysian police and military forces. Santa Banana, there are even house-to-house searches triggering the forced evacuation of so many Filipino Muslims who entered Sabah illegally through the years!
It was a comedy of errors right from the start on the part of Malacañang, which refused dialogue with Sultan Jamalul Kiram III. This was worsened by the policy of the President, who threatened to have Kiram and his followers charged and arrested for violation of the Constitution. Given Mr. Aquino’s words, it is no wonder that the Malaysians thought he was siding with them.
The combined ground and air strikes against the less than 200 Kiram followers (I say less than 200 since many of them have already been killed or caught) is just too much. It is not a war that the Sultanate of Sulu is waging against Malaysia. The Filipinos holed up in Sabah are not terrorists, even if Malaysia thinks they are.
Malacañang is not protesting the overkill resorted to by Malaysia. The act can be seen as violation of human rights. Will President Aquino just wait for all the Filipino followers of Kiram to be killed?
The blood of Filipino-Muslims killed in Sabah is on the hands of the Palace.
This reminds me of how the President also mishandled the hostage crisis at the Luneta in 2010. This resulted in the killing of tourists from Hong Kong. In the Luneta tragedy, however, it was the President’s subalterns who were to blame. In the case of Sabah, Mr. Aquino only has himself to blame.
Imagine asking the Tausug followers of the sultan to surrender without any conditions. These are Filipino Muslims of the warrior class who would rather die than surrender, tails between their legs!
The President needs to review history. Throughout the Spanish colonial period of over 300 years, the American era and the Japanese occupation, the Muslims in Mindanao and Sulu were never subjugated.
As I said, the President’s Team PNoy must now be worried sick of the possibility of losing votes in Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago since even the Christians are now sympathizing with the Filipino-Muslims being fed to the wolves in Sabah.
This is because President Aquino would not dare upset our economic and political ties with Malaysia.
Another blunder of this administration is when starving victims of typhoon Pablo ransacked the Davao City office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development. They carted away rice and other food out of the warehouse.
I wrote about this a couple of days ago when I learned that DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman had ordered her people to stop the distribution of relief because she was waiting for the President and senatorial candidates of the administration party. If they were the ones who distributed the goods, that would mean pogi points for them.
Indeed when people are starving, it’s the rule of the mob that prevails.
It’s true that there is no such thing as the Catholic vote that could compare, for instance, to the solid vote of the Iglesia ni Kristo members. This was proven when the Catholic church campaigned against Health Secretary Juan Flavier, who advocated the use of condoms, and against then presidential candidate, the Protestant Fidel Ramos.
This may be changing. The Church is potent when its priests and bishops use the pulpits to tell the people whom not to vote for. This is coming to pass with the Bacolod diocese and its Team Patay and Team Buhay line-up. Those in Team Patay are candidates who supported the Reproductive Health Law.
The Comelec tried to stop the diocese but the Supreme Court came out with a temporary restraining order. Now other churches are taking the cue. This can begin the groundswell of the Catholic vote.
The National Bureau of Investigation found that the Atimonan incident, which claimed the lives of 13 people, was a rubout. The motive behind it was clearly territorial rivalry over the illegal numbers game jueteng.
No less than 35 are being charged with multiple murder. This validates the extent of the involvement of the police and the military in jueteng.
In the coming elections, it is said that jueteng will continue to be a main source of campaign funds especially in the local level. Some even kill for it.