Start indicting those responsible for Sabah bloodshed
By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star (Updated March 5, 2013 - 12:00am)
The March 2 early afternoon press conference at Malacanang Palace revealed hitherto unknown contacts between the President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) government and Sultan Jamalul Kiram and his family. Per Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, immediately after the Sabah crisis started, Secretaries Ronald Llamas (Political Adviser) and CP Garcia (National Security Adviser) touched base with the Kiram family. There were efforts at various levels to maintain contact with the Kirams. We must wonder why messaging Secretary Ricky Carandang failed to report on these meetings. We must wonder why Abigail Valte kept denying that there have been on-going contacts between the government and the Sultanate of Sulu. P-Noy has unnecessarily been on the receiving end of brickbats accusing him of snubbing the Sultanate. In the wake of the bloodshed in Sabah, those responsible for it should be held accountable. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima previously mentioned the applicable charge per Philippine laws — that of inciting to war. The pronouncements of Sultan Kiram and his relatives and their call for support from other fellow Filipinos to press their claim against Malaysia could be cited as basis for such an indictment. If the call ended in armed conflict with casualties, then inciting to war is justified. Media persons who promoted these lines of the Sultanate could also be considered as responsible and indicted if basis is established. Were they reporting only what they heard or were they actively promoting the cause of the Sultanate, which is beyond their call of duty as journalists? Add Robin Padilla to the list for calling on Filipinos to support the adventurers in Sabah. Padilla should first go to Sabah and make his call from there while supporting the royal claim. Over there he’ll know the difference between screenplay and a real firefight....
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