Crisis not for amateurs and dilettantes

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07:24 PM March 5th, 2013

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March 5th, 2013 07:24 PM

The Sultan of Sulu is in a foxhole.

President Aquino is in commanding heights, with diplomats all over.

Art. 118 of the Revised Penal Code of 1930 and the United States’ Logan’s Act of 1799 are there for a reason. Unauthorized, nonaccountable private citizens cannot foment trouble with another country.

In the sultan’s Sabah adventure, deaths have resulted—too few compared to what is going on in Kenya, Syria, etc.

Do we care about  the sentiments of millions of Sabahan who may not see Manila’s governance of export quality after decades of kleptocracy under Ferdinand Marcos and Gloria Arroyo? Consent of the governed we cannot be insensitive to after being a colony for more than 400 years. And in 2013 we want to be colonizers? Imperialism seems to be passe.

This matter is not for amateurs or dilettantes. The well-meaning four-week amateurs who explain what they may not understand (or may not have a thorough understanding of) must be reinforced. We need to involve Fidel V. Ramos, Manang Letty Ramos-Shahani et al. Uncle Jovy Salonga is too sick.   Is there a Sabah Desk in the Department of Foreign Affairs to deal with this issue of polycentric dimensions? The Senate must be a leading player in foreign relations on an issue studied for decades.

Look at the current and future senators—and weep. Pork barrel, pamaskos and other preoccupations can only scare the bejesus out of the Sabahan at the thought of being run from Manila.

—RENE A.V. SAGUISAG,

ravslaw@gmail.com

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