Resolve standoff peacefully

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We in the Young Moro Professionals Network support the search for a peaceful solution to the standoff in Sabah between Malaysian government forces and followers of the Sultanate of Sulu, our fellow Filipinos.

For decades, the claim to Sabah has remained “dormant” and a “non issue.” We believe that it will best serve the national interest to resolve this longstanding issue through diplomacy and with prudence, not through the use of force. Indeed, the standoff requires immediate and decisive resolution considering its diplomatic implications and its concomitant threat to regional peace, security and stability.

The nation has just observed the 27th anniversary of  the Edsa People Power Revolution, an unprecedented peaceful exercise of sovereign power by the people themselves to overthrow a dictatorship in order to regain their freedom. The celebration recalled lessons from the past, even as it spotlighted once again many of the ills in that bygone era, ills that until now persist, telling us that we still have a lot to do to complete our country’s healing and transformation.

Notwithstanding the differing opinions and speculations about the standoff in Sabah—e.g., an attempt to sabotage the peace process or to reassert the Sultanate of Sulu’s claim to Sabah—we believe that the problem should be settled peacefully. Every peaceful option should be explored through dialogue and consultation, not through bloodshed—so that whatever final settlement we will arrive at will be truly just and lasting and will serve all Filipinos, not the least those in southernmost areas of our country.

For the glory of Almighty Allah and for love of our countrymen, brothers, sisters and neighbors, we reiterate our support for a peaceful settlement of the Sabah crisis, and we call on all parties (Philippine government, Malaysian government, and the Sultanate of Sulu) to submit to a peaceful process in their search for a final solution to the Sabah issue.

Also, we welcome President Aquino’s creation of the Transition Commission, which is mandated to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law following a consultative and inclusive process. It is our hope that the implementation of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro will continue to gain ground and, in the process, address other issues of potential conflicts like the Sabah claim, as may be needed to achieve a just and lasting peace for all our people and stability in entire the region.

InshaAllah.

—ALAMIRA RASMIA NAFISA L. ALONTO

secretary general; BAI ROHANIZA SUMNDAD USMAN, chair; TASNEEM C. ABDULRAUF, peace committee convenor
Young Moro Professionals Network

youngmoros@yahoo.com

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