I apologize to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for my outburst in this space on Saturday where I used harsh words in criticizing her on the Sabah issue.
I realize it was ungentlemanly of me to have done that to a lady.
As she said in her text message to me, “You may disagree, and I respect your right to disagree with my moves and opinion, but without resorting to insults.”
But my apology doesn’t mean my stand on the Sabah controversy has changed.
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I still think President Noy’s mistreatment of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has dire consequences for the country.
The big problem will come not from Malaysia, whose interest P-Noy is obviously protecting at the expense of the Sulu sultanate, but from the Tausugs.
The Tausugs of Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, the fiercest of all the Muslim tribes in the country, nearly caused the downfall of the Marcos regime when they revolted against the government in the 1970s and 1980s.
The Tausugs are subjects of the Sultanate of Sulu.
The President should have thought things over before coming to the side of Malaysia in the current Sabah issue.
Malaysia brokered the peace talks between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), composed mostly of Maguindanao tribesmen, which resulted in the agreement for lasting peace in Mindanao.
The MILF is a breakaway group from the original Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
But the President left out the MNLF, led by the Tausug tribe, and the Sulu sultanate, in the peace agreement.
How could there be lasting peace in Mindanao without a peace agreement with all the other Muslim tribes as well?
Apart from the Tausug and Maguindanao, the other Muslim or Moro tribes are the Maranaw of Lanao, Yakan of Basilan, Badjao and Samal of Tawi-Tawi, and Iranon of Cotabato.
Of what use is the peace agreement with the Maguindanaons if the other tribes and the Sulu Sultanate are left out?
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I am from Mindanao and I fear a renewed outbreak of violence in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi if the Sabah crisis is not resolved in favor of the Sulu sultanate.
The violence could spill over to other parts of Mindanao and the country like it did in the 1970s and 1980s.
All because the President wants to please Malaysia.
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Malaysia supported the MNLF during the war in Mindanao in the 1970s to the ’80s.
Malaysia is now reaping bad karma for its misadventure.
Let Malaysia wiggle itself out of its bad karma.