Mindanao peace process is gov’t priority despite Sabah crisis

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AFP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The peace talks in Mindanao should remain as the government’s priority despite the Sabah crisis, said one of the two Muslim emissaries sent by Malacañang to talk to Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III about three weeks ago.

“We can see the trees but not the forest. The bigger issue here is the peace process in Mindanao. We are now on the final stages of the framework agreement which is being mediated by the Malaysians,” Justice Assistant Secretary Zabedin Azis, who went with Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Governor Mujib Hataman on Feb. 18 and 19 to the Kirams.

“Just in case this peace process will be derailed, God forbid, I am sure this could lead to another round of bloodshed in Mindanao. Kawawa naman mga kababayan natin…I told him that ‘you would have to take into consideration the life of your brother Muslims. Your case has been here for years. What the government want is for your armed men to come back, the President was even willing to meet them but not under force and intimidation’,” Azis said.

But he pointed out that it does not mean forgetting the Sabah claim, saying it can and will be discussed only after his Royal Army in Sabah returns to the Philippines.

“The President was even willing to meet with them but not under force and intimidation,” he said adding that part of the deal was no one will be charged.

During their two-day talks with the Kirams, he said the family has already agreed to pull out their troops in Sabah, thus, arrangements were made for the military to send out ships to fetch the Sultan’s troops.

Then, Azis said, all of a sudden, there was a change of heart.

“Parang nag-iba ang ihip ng hangin,” he said although he said he has no idea what changed the mind of the Sultan.

Azis denied the allegations of the Kirams that Aquino’s emissary threatened them.

“We never threatened them. In fact, the atmosphere was very friendly during our talks,” he said.

They were the second batch of emissaries sent by Malacañang to the Kirams. The first were National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia Jr. and Presidential Political Adviser Ronald Llamas.

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  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    KUNG WALA NANG GINAGAWA MGA SUNDALO JAN, SEND THEM TO SABAH PARA BUSY.

    KALOKOHAN YANG SUMUSWELDO MGA YAN TAPOS WLA GINAGAWA.

    • Fulpol

      they prefer to work in UN.. more perks.. iba pa yung sahod nila sa Philippine gov’t..

      pinapasahod ng Pilipino taxpayers pero iba ang pinagsisilbihan…

      • stilettoL2

         ang dalawang pulpol, mga war freak. baka pag nagka gyera ang MY at PH eh nakasuksok lang kayo sa suyok.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YAB42FXZYNCU3ODZNRCDRDTGAY MORE HUMAN

       mas masakit.. ginagawa lang sekyu ng mga politicians na buwaya

  • guest

    I don’t think the MILF has the capability to wage a full-fledged war in Mindanao if the so called peace process is stop to include the MNLF, Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysia in the talks. They are only based in Maguindanao. On the other hand, MNLF and Sultanate of Sulu has influences in Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi which is bigger.

  • kilabot

    there is no mindanao peace process without sabah settlement. 
    the tausugs will make sure of that; 
    they have presence all over the country now.

    • regd

      Then what are you waiting for? Go and fight with them there! They need you. It’s the best occasion to settle the sabah issue. 

  • ApoNiLolo

    O, di natauhan si Pnoy. This is the real purpose why the Sultan’s army went to Malaysia. A dangerous but calculated move, design to get the attention of our government to pursue the claim to Sabah.

    “Parang nag-iba ang ihip ng hangin,”
    The only “wind-shift” I see is the ball being passed to Pnoy by the Sultan. I bet the next round would not be Malaysia against the Sultanate of Sulu but Malaysia vs the Republic of the Philippines. But it will be a better scenario. Confrontation done inside an air-conditioned room instead of outside – in the beaches or jungle of Sabah.

  • NoWorryBHappy

    I couldn’t agree more.
    Nobody will care for the Filipino as much as the Filipino can.
    President Noynoy’s advisers must realize that.
    Only us, the Filipinos, can shape the destiny of the Philippines. 

  • ARIKUTIK

    Filipinos are being harassed and massacred in Sabah but Penoy is castigating fellow Filipinos with treath of jail time because it’s a conspiracy of GMA….. the greatest “Daang Matuwid” show.

  • IbigMongSabihin

    I kept reading the Sabah-related news every 8 hours at taliwas lahat ang development sa sinasabi nino ngayon. Very early pa lang ay sinabi na ni presidente na ang Sabah ay dormant issue, at aarestuhin niya ang Kirams, etc, at tontos kayo kung di nyo nabasa ang statement ng presidente kasi some of your statement now is contradicting the president’s.

  • disqusted0fu

    Mindanao peace process is government’s priority alright. And this is the very reason why the sultanates are being neglected. Pnoy’s bias mentality is again showing here. It is almost the same with how he runs his government. If you are an ally, you get all the benefits and more. But if you’re a foe, all you will get is persecution. 

  • disqusted0fu

    The emissaries doesn’t have to defend themselves on threatening the sultanates because Pnoy himslef threatened the sultanates on air, on a global broadcast, which pretty much gave the go signal for the Malaysians to attack our fellow Filipinos in Sabah.

    And by the way, it can’t be called a Mindanao peace process if it will only cover a portion of Mindanao and only selected people there.

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