President Benigno Aquino’s handling of the Sabah situation has been dismal. First of all, how could a President lose a letter from a sultan? Was it really lost, or it’s just that President Aquino doesn’t care enough about it? But that was just the first error—everything that happened and has been happening after that just aggravated the crisis, and this is simply not acceptable.
We understand the President has made a commitment to the Liberal Party senatorial candidates that he will be personally campaigning for them. What we don’t understand is why he can’t seem to realize that his commitment to his countrymen, which he made when he assumed office in 2010, is the most important of all his commitments.
Filipinos are already dying in Sabah, but he is still campaigning hard for his handpicked candidates, even joining them in their provincial sorties. Adding insult to injury and fuel to the fire, he continues to refuse the request of Sultan
Jamalul Kiram III to meet with him personally. The Sabah crisis is exposing the priority concerns of our President.
President Aquino and his spokespersons have done fairly well in eluding major issues that the country is facing, using diversionary ploys. But neither he nor the country can easily get away from the burden and responsibility that is the Sabah crisis. And the crisis will linger until the President finally acts on it and finds a solution to it.
Incidents like this spell the stark difference between a popular leader and a competent one. There is no doubt that President Aquino is popular but, clearly, neither popularity nor diversionary ploys can ever solve this crisis. It’s high time the President showed us his competent side—that is, if he has it in him.