Who is Aquino’s adviser on Sabah issue?

Aquino to Kiram III: “….desist from this hopeless cause.”

In his Facebook wall, Cotabato-based Fr. Eliseo Mercado of the Institute for Autonomy and Governance in Notre Dame University yesterday said, “After the President’s press statement on the Sabah issue, I am continued to be deluged with question,’Who is the adviser of the President on the Sabah issue?’

“Sagot ko: Ambot… baka ang Malaysian PM. From the tone and the content would show that he/she is either Malaysian or Malaysian-Philippine.”

In his statement, which came on the second week of the standoff in Lahad Datu, a seaside village in Sabah, President Aquino several times spoke of peace. Yet, the language he used reeks of arrogance that could only come from ignorance of the root of the issue.

He described the cause that the Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram III and his younger brother Prince Rajah Mudah Agbimuddin Kiram, who is the leader of the group in Lahad Datu as a “hopeless cause.”

Addressing Kiram, Aquino said: “You are a leader of your clan, and every leader seeks the well-being of his constituents. These times require you to use your influence to prevail on our countrymen to desist from this hopeless cause.”

Does this mean the Aquino government has given up the Philippine government’s claim on Sabah?

In his statement, Aquino seemed not sure about the legitimacy of the Philippine claim which was initiated in the 1963 by President Diosdado Macapagal. He said: “This issue is complex: from the basis of our claim, to the question of the rightful heirs, and even involving the translation of documents from an era when our grandparents weren’t even born.”

Princess Jacel Kiram reads statement of her father, Jamalul Kiram III

Responding to the President’s statement Kiram III, though his daughter Princess Jacel Kiram said: “ Mr. President, what more proof do you want us to show that Sabah is ours?”

This standoff came about because the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu decided to do it their way after Malacañang snubbed Kiram’s request for a meeting.

Aquino revealed this in his statement: “Let me say to Sultan Jamalul Kiram III: I have just been made aware that a letter to me, from you, was sent through OPAPP in the very first weeks of my term, when we were organizing the government. Unfortunately, this letter was lost in the bureaucratic maze. Let me make clear that there was no intention to ignore your letter. Knowing this now, will you let your mistaken belief dictate your course of action?”

Aquino also said, “The avenue of peaceful and open dialogue is still available to us. Let us therefore sit down as brothers to address your grievances in a peaceful, calm manner according to our laws and according to correct processes when your people arrive home.”

Yet in the same statement he warned Kiram that his patience is running out:

“As President and chief executor of our laws, I have tasked an investigation into possible violations of laws by you, your followers, and collaborators engaged in this foolhardy act. May I remind you as well that as a citizen of the Republic, you are bound by the constitution and its laws.

“Among your possible violations is Article II Section 2 of the Constitution, which states that the Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, the enabling law of which is Article 118 of the Revised Penal Code, which punishes those who “provoke or give occasion for a war…or expose Filipino citizens to reprisals on their persons or property.”[1] Thus, you are now fully aware of the consequences of your actions.”

“We have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are fast approaching that point.”

To which Kiram stood firm: “As far as we are concerned, we haven’t committed a crime.”

But he also talked about peace: “The sultan of Sulu’s action is a benevolent aspiration and not a violent reaction to fight.”

Will the real diplomats please take over?

Read President Aquino’s statement in full here: http://www.gov.ph/2013/02/26/statement-of-president-aquino-on-the-sabah-incident-february-26-2013/

February 26, 2013 10:28 pm  Tags: , ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs

35 Responses

  1. Ellen - February 26, 2013 11:05 pm

    Aquino betrays his ignorance and arrogance,a combination which could turn explosive, on this issue.

  2. chi - February 26, 2013 11:05 pm

    Unbelievable Pnoy, aral ka nga muna ng history ng Sabah before opening your mouth!

    Gosh, tigil ang katarayan and let someone with knowledge and love of country take over the issue.

    The Kirams are not provoking a war, they are just trying to take back what’s theirs or Pinas’ hoping that the leaders and kapinuyan will open their eyes to the truth.

    Baka lumabas ang tunay na mga warriors in response to Pnoy’s “bizzare” statements, lalong magtaray itong pangulo na ito.

    Sige nga, dakpin lahat at ikulong ang mga ‘nanggugulo’ na claimants if they violate any laws or Pinas Constitution…let’s see kung saan tayo magtatakbuhan.

    Ano yan, takutan?

  3. chi - February 26, 2013 11:07 pm

    I wish Pnoy would also send same arrogant language to China as to its claim to the “bato”.

    Ang tapang kung maliit ang kalaban!

  4. chi - February 26, 2013 11:10 pm

    Sino ang tangang adviser ni Pnoy? Ambot talaga!

  5. chi - February 26, 2013 11:11 pm

    #1. Agree, agree, agree…Ellen.

  6. Ellen - February 26, 2013 11:11 pm

    Chi,I don’t know if I’m going to laugh or cry.

  7. chi - February 26, 2013 11:25 pm

    Same here, Ellen.

    Pnoy’s language shows panic, the Palace was surprised by the Kirams sudden action. But in stead of getting advise from diplomats, he followed one one from his gung ho buddy. Pathetic sya!

  8. Becky - February 26, 2013 11:33 pm

    Imagine if he and his advisers didn’t dismiss Kiram’s request for a meeting (I don’t believe that “lost in a bureacratic maze” excuse), he would have been spared of this crisis.

    I hope he learned his lesson.

  9. Ellen - February 27, 2013 12:46 am

    From Fr. Mercado’s FB wall:

    Would it not be ironic when the Rajah Muda and the Sultan’s Royal entourage are declared ‘Halaw” – illegals in their own ‘backyard’. And it would really look funny, if the Philippine President and Philippine Government would take the side of Malaysia on the issue of Sabah. It would really be the height of ___ when the Philippine Government would be an instruments in calling the members of the Royal House and their entourage as HALAW! tsk tsk tsk!

    Ignorance on the issue is inexcusable… but a policy based on Malaysian interest is almost bordering to TREASON…

    The Sabah issue is NOT a done deal yet between the Philippine Government and Malaysia… Neither it is resolved by simply closing one’s eyes to stark reality. The regular deprotation of the HALAW continues… While DSWD helps in the transit of the Halaw… the bigger picture why they are HALAWs is never looked at… a Tragedy for the DFA and Government as a whole…

  10. Jojo - February 27, 2013 3:26 am

    ang tawag diyan ay ” Iwas Pusoy ” kasi during the Marcos era dapat nabawi na ang Sabah dahil ibinuking ng Tatay niya ang plano.

  11. chi - February 27, 2013 5:33 am

    Lost in transmission daw request ni Jamalul Kiram 111 to meet with Pnoy in the early days of his term. That’s a bull!

    Someone just informed Noynoy of the said request daw. If true, pare-pareho silang clueless sa Palasyo. Might be that inisnab lang talaga nila and asked, ‘who dat?’. At dahil Kiram was Gloria Arroyo’s senatoriable, tinawanan lang nila.

    Ayan ang dala ng elite perspective o sadyang katangahan?

  12. chi - February 27, 2013 5:37 am

    #11. I can appreciate Marcos effort in reclaiming Sabah, this is the reason why I can’t accept Ninoy’s image of heroism, may kulang sa kanya.

  13. TonGuE-tWisTeD - February 27, 2013 10:13 am

    (re: chi – February 27, 2013 5:37 am) And that is the real score, chi. The Sabah issue has Marcos’ fingerprints all over it, and Ninoy has dipped his own fingers in the bloody foray to milk it to the max for his personal war with the Real Makoy. (wow, my personal record sa dami ng idioms in one sentence, lol). Add to that, Marcos was recognized by the good Sultan as a cousin, I can’t remember now whether it was by blood or by royal decree. I posted that here some years ago.

    Now, you’ll be confused what the Aquinos and their gang’s real objectives, some call it epic failures, were. Or “are”.

    We all know that immediately after taking Marcos’ throne the mother got the trouble she never wanted (or did she?) from Misuari, who was literally fetched from exile which enabled him to renew the chaos, the bloodshed, in a Christian-Moro war that had almost been forgotten. But what do you know, the successor, Steady Eddie, pushed legislation that instead of punishing rebels and outlaws, made them governors of a new political subdivision that was designed to fail.

    Misuari became governor of the doomed ARMM with P18B alloted as budget but was never the less invisible.

    So the birth of Salamat’s MILF was justified after all. And the Abu Sayyaf…and the jihads/tadtads/tirtirs/whathaveyous… which ensured that peace in Mindanao was just a pipe dream. Cory even got Cardinal Sin to justify the arming of Christian vigilantes. A sure potent poison added to the mix.

    Of course we also know the Aquinos & the Cojuangcos are advocates and supporters of the Christian majority – just listen to Tingting’s campaign speeches and you’ll get the point. Truly fanning the flames of another religious war – MNLF Bangsamoro Redux. It’s the large-scale counterpart of the never-ending Pacquiao-Marquez saga.

    Tell me, what are the clan’s, okay, Noynoy’s motives? You forge a peace pact in your house sponsored by a not so friendly neighbor then condemn at length some of your children for staying in that sneaky neighbor’s land which he grabbed from you in the first place?

    Nagkabali-bali na yata ruler ko, walang matuwid na guhit.

  14. chi - February 27, 2013 11:23 am

    Hahaha…tuwid pa rin, tongue!

    Sabi siguro ni Noynoy: kinaput na nga ng tatay ko ang isyu na yan bakit ko susuportahan?

    “Tell me, what are the clan’s, okay, Noynoy’s motives? You forge a peace pact in your house sponsored by a not so friendly neighbor then condemn at length some of your children for staying in that sneaky neighbor’s land which he grabbed from you in the first place?”

    Sakto ruler mo dito, tongue!

  15. TonGuE-tWisTeD - February 27, 2013 11:55 am

    Well, let me quote this from an old but relevant (but all things pertaining to Mindanao peace ARE old but relevant, hehe) quote from a topic here in ET’s blog:

    Mastura, the Maguindanao Datu, has the most to gain in BJE. Their Sultanate would’ve put one over its Tausug rivals in Sulu, Basilan, and Tawi-tawi. The MNLF, based in the Sultanate of Sulu had long been awarded administrative control over Mastura’s Maguindanao, among other provinces and the city of Marawi, in Tripoli and Indonesia. The Masturas, via BJE, want it the other way. So do the Ampatuans, Datumanongs, Dilangalens.

    That’s why Malaysia is supporting them and avoiding at all cost the rise of MNLF to political eminence. They could lose Sabah if the tripartite (OIC-GRP-MNLF) meeting, postponed for years, pushed through. They were successful though in prolonging delays, silencing Misuari by jailing him, and by propaganda against MNLF as Abu Sayyaf coddlers. Malaysia is steadily stoking the flames of division between BangsaMoro itself.

    The MILF say its a done deal because they want it to end right there and then. They stop at getting the land then they will die fighting for it. Proceeding further would mean they will have to slug it out in an election/referendum against these political clans which they will surely lose. All these troubles for naught.

    No, Gloria was not giving away territory for the MILF, she was giving it away to her allies. MILF is a dummy.

    Ika nga ni Erap weder-weder lang. Nung araw, bida si Misuari at mga katribo niyang Tausug. Ngayon, Maguindanaoan naman ang bida. Bukas sino naman?

    I invite you to revisit this page and agree/disagree with me when I say “It’s a Moro-moro, you morons”.

  16. TonGuE-tWisTeD - February 27, 2013 12:03 pm

    I wonder if that forsaken avenue – the tripartite conference – will ever push through. It’s the only chance the Malaysians will give up Sabah without a fierce war.

    Involve the Islam hierarchy, we have history on our side, we win.

  17. chi - February 27, 2013 9:36 pm

    tongue, gusto ko ipadala ang message mo na ito kay Pnoy mismo, pero sigurado it will be lost in transmission.

  18. Mike - February 27, 2013 11:53 pm

    Chi, hindi lang lost in transmission but lost in translation as well.

  19. chi - February 28, 2013 5:35 am

    Mike, king of palusot sya!

  20. Star 1542 - February 28, 2013 9:32 am

    The know-nothing Penoy is only listening to himself and his stupid adviser on Sabah issue. He doesn’t want to antagonize Malaysia, the broker in the Mindanao peace process, because if the supposed peace process (Despite being obviously disadvantageous to the Philippine government) failed, Penoy will not get his dream to win the Nobel Peace Prize. In effect, he is a “Hostage” of the Malaysian government. He doesn’t care whether Sabah really belongs to the Sultnate of Sulu. Just look who is he favoring now. He is now becoming an agent of Malaysia against his own people….And he has the chutzpah to castigate the Kirams on TV. Why is he so quick to say, “Hopeless cause?” His mouth is quicker than his brain…WTF, his Annabelle Rama attitude will never cease.

  21. manuelbuencamino - February 28, 2013 12:49 pm

    Hindi ba kayo naniniwala sa principle of self-determination of peoples? That is a right greater than any right granted by historical title. The age of colonialism is over. This is the age of self-determination. The Sabahans decided fifty years ago to join Malaysia. Respect their decision.

  22. LCsiao - February 28, 2013 2:16 pm

    Wala kayang hocus-pocus na naganap sa mga referenda na tinutokoy mo? Obvious naman kung sino ang pinanigan ng mga Brits at obvious din kung sino ang may hawak ng UN.

  23. manuelbuencamino - February 28, 2013 5:41 pm


    Ipagpalagay na natin na linuto yun referendum. Eh fifty years na ang lumipas di naman pumapalag ang mga Sabahans, Meron bang malaking seccesionist movement dun? Meron bang malaking Philippine statehood movement? Sa loob ng 50 years nagkapagtayo ba sila ng serious separatist movement?

    Ang katotohanan ay sumasali sila sa mga election sa Sabah, nagbabayad sila ng buwis atbp. Samakatuwid kinikilala nila na parte sila ng Malaysia

  24. LCsiao - February 28, 2013 6:30 pm


    Kinikilala nila albeit grudgingly. Sila kasi ang pinakamahirap na estado sa Malaysian Federation bagamat sa kanila yumanan ang Peninsular Malaysia.

    Sa tingin ko, kaya lang walang seryosong hakbang na humiwalay ang Sabah at sumanib sa Pilipinas ay ang kinakatakutan nilang alternatibo. Kung baga, ayos na sa kanilang patuloy na maagrabyado ng kasalukuyang namumuno kaysa mapasailalim sa sunud-sunod na mga napakabulok na rehimen dito. So sad (for us).

  25. LCsiao - February 28, 2013 6:39 pm

    Tungkol naman sa pagkakaroon o di-pagkakaroon ng separatist movement(s), alam naman natin na nakasalalay rin ito sa kung may pwersang panlabas na nambubuyo. Sa kaso ng Muslim seccessionists sa Mindanao, alam naman siguro natin kung sinu-sino ang mga naglalaway na mga ito.

  26. LCsiao - February 28, 2013 6:51 pm

    Suma-tutal: Kaya nanatili sa kamay ng Malaysia ang Sabah ay dahil hindi ito ipinaglaban ng Pilipinas noong kaya pa nito, bukod sa nakalulungkot na realidad na ang bansa natin ay lubhang naging atrasado sa nakaraang mga dekada.

  27. chi - February 28, 2013 11:08 pm

    Agree # 27, pinabayaan talaga ng mga nagdaang administrasyon ang isyu na ito, sinupil.

  28. manuelbuencamino - March 1, 2013 1:19 am


    Suma total kaya nanatili sa kamay ng Malaysia ang Sabah ay dahil hindi umaalis ang mga Sabahans. Kung gusto natin sumama sa atin ang Sabah kumbinsihin natin sila na it’s more fun in the Philippines.

  29. LCsiao - March 1, 2013 11:50 am


    Kaya nga lang, sa lahat ng kanyang kapalpakan, wala pa ring maniniwala kay PeNoy kahit triplehin pa niya ang kanyang propaganda budget.

    Tsaka wala namang kinalaman sa Phil claim ang pananatili ng mga Sabahans (however they want to define what a Sabahan is). Maging Tausug man o ibang non-Malay ethnic group pa sila, hindi mag-aatubiling maging Pilipino ang mga Sabahans kapag nakita nilang matino ang bansa natin at may mga pinuno tayong handang ipaglaban ang interes ng taumbayan–di gaya sa kasalukuyan.

  30. manuelbuencamino - March 1, 2013 3:05 pm


    Kaya nga sinabi ko na kung gusto mo makuha ang Sabah ipakita mo na it’s more fun in the philippines

  31. Star 1542 - March 1, 2013 5:48 pm

    Ha-ha-ha…Kaso hindi “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” kundi “It’s more funny in the Philippines.” Kundi ba naman funny, e gustong kasuhan ni Penoy through his equally incompetent DOJ Secretary ang mga Kirams ng Rebellion. How is Rebellion committed according to Art. 134 of the Revised Penal Code?…May public uprising and taking arms ba against the government (meaning Philippine government)? Kung mapatunayan na may public uprising nga (granting), ang purpose ba ng uprising is to remove from the allegiance to said government or its laws the territory of the Philippines or any part thereof? Eh Gusto nga nilang mabawi ang territory which they believe belongs to them and in effect a territory of the Philippines….Ha-ha-ha,,,It’s more funny in the Philippines…

  32. LCsiao - March 2, 2013 11:43 am



  33. LCsiao - March 2, 2013 1:52 pm


    I-mungkahi mo na lang yan kay AbNoy. Tingin ko maiintindihan ka naman niya.

  34. TonGuE-tWisTeD - March 8, 2013 7:10 pm

    Eto yung 20-ponit Agreement.


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