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Why is the MILF submitting its report to Malaysia?

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As I See It

Why is the MILF submitting its report to Malaysia?

/ 12:05 AM March 09, 2015

March is International Women’s Month. Thank God for giving us women. Can you imagine how life would be so lonely, sad and boring without women? Even Adam, already living a life of leisure in Paradise with all his needs at his fingertips, was lonely without a companion. So God created Eve to be his companion and that started the human race. We wouldn’t be here today were it not for women, our mothers.

The most important women in my life are my mother, my wife, my two daughters, my two granddaughters and my women friends. My mother died when I was just starting grade school, but even now I still dream of her, still looking like the smiling woman in the only existing photograph of her. And in our senior years, it is our daughters and granddaughters who take care of us.

Some of our best senators are women. (I can’t say the same thing about the House of Representatives.) Our best executive officials are women (Leila de Lima, Conchita Carpio Morales, Grace Pulido Tan, Kim Henares and, of course, Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno).

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Most of the teachers who taught us how to read and write, how to think, read and pray were women. Most of the nurses who take care of us in the hospitals are women. In fact, half of the world’s population is composed of women.

Thank God for giving us women.

* * *

Today, the Philippine National Police’s board of inquiry will submit its findings on the Mamasapano massacre to President Aquino. But why is the Moro Islamic Liberation Front submitting its investigation report to Malaysia, not to the President? That is an insult to the President and the Filipino people.

The cat is out of the bag. The MILF’s sponsor in the rebellion against the national government is Malaysia. For years, the MILF has been getting its arms from Malaysia. The earlier peace agreement that was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court was hurriedly and quietly signed in Kuala Lumpur—not in the Philippines—with the American ambassador to the Philippines in attendance. Malaysia is also the referee in the current peace talks. If this were a boxing bout, the sponsor, promoter and referee are all for the MILF fighter. So how can the Philippine government’s boxer win or even battle to a draw?

I do not understand why our peace negotiators—and the President—are so naive as not to see the underhand of Malaysia in the rebellion and the peace negotiations. The draft Bangsamoro Basic Law may have been written with the aid of Malaysia.

Malaysia has the motive to have a semi-autonomous Bangsamoro with a parliamentary system of government just like Malaysia’s and unlike its home country’s presidential system. It would then be easy for the Bangsamoro, with its territory in southern Mindanao and the groups of Sulu and Tawi Tawi islands very close to Malaysia, to decide to join the Federation of Malaysia.

Why would Malaysia like that? Because of the Philippine claim to Sabah. Malaysia knows that if the claim is taken to the United Nations, the evidence will be against it. Historical records clearly show that Sabah was given by the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of Sulu out of gratitude for the latter’s help in quelling a rebellion in Borneo. When the Federation of Malaysia was formed, Sabah was annexed as part of the federation. Sabah is believed to have rich oil and natural gas deposits.

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But Sabah belongs to the Philippines or, to be more precise, to the Sultan of Sulu, a Filipino. There are 1.5 million Filipinos in Sabah who are treated poorly by Malaysia. Its government provides free basic education to children—but only to Malaysian children. The children of Filipinos in Sabah are excluded. So Filipino children in Sabah are growing up without any schooling.

The Philippines has proposed taking the Sabah claim to the United Nations but Malaysia refuses to participate. The UN requires both sides to agree to arbitration. Because if one side refuses to participate, there can be no agreement.

* * *

Back to the Mamasapano massacre and the PNP board of inquiry’s report on its own investigation. What really happened in Mamasapano? That is the question everybody wants answered, and answered truthfully.

That is also the primary concern of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas who has stressed his commitment to a truthful and timely report on the Mamasapano incident.

Roxas, along with PNP officer in charge Deputy Director Leonardo Espina, was kept out of the loop in the operation to arrest Malaysian terrorist Marwan and his Filipino cohort Basit Usman in Mamasapano.

Specifically, Roxas wanted the board of inquiry created to investigate the incident and find answers to five nagging questions:

  1. Was the plan well-thought-out?
  1. Was everything done to ensure the safety of our troops?
  1. Were the orders of President Aquino followed?
  1. Was there American participation, and if there was, what was the US role in the operation?
  1. Did the radio sets, bulletproof vests, firearms and ammunition of the troops work properly?

“Never hesitate to pinpoint the accountabilities in each of these concerns. It is important for the public to know the truth,” Roxas told Police Director Benjamin Magalong who heads the board of inquiry.

In other words, let the chips fall where they may.

We should know all that later today when the board of inquiry submits its report.

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TAGS: AFP, BIFF, Maguindanao, Malaysia, Mamasapano, Mar Roxas, MILF, Mindanao, opinion, PNP, SAF 44
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