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By Randy David
To my last column on the current conflict between the Philippines and Taiwan, a country with whom, until recently, we have had only friendly relations, a reader from Canada has written a most thoughtful rejoinder. He wishes to remain anonymous, but, with his permission, I will quote from the rich account he has shared of his experience as a former official of the Canadian department of fisheries in charge of enforcing maritime fishing boundaries. His job entailed protecting his country’s fishery from poachers coming from other countries.
By Bernie Lopez
The suggestion of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin that US bases be revived here is like suggesting that the Philippines put itself in the line of fire in the event that a Korean war, possibly nuclear in nature, breaks out. It is like running between two cowboys in a gunfight as soon as they start firing. Such a geopolitically naive proposal will draw Korean nuclear missiles into Philippine soil. This suicidal idea is unacceptable, coming from a Cabinet member and a prestigious former ambassador.
By Amando Doronila
Evidence of Malaysian atrocities in Kuala Lumpur’s “search and annihilate” military operations against fleeing followers of the Sultan of Sulu continues to mount in the wake of Philippine naval interceptions of refugees from Sabah.
By Jose Ma. Montelibano
The noisy Filipino went at it again. All the commentators, from traditional media to social media, could simply not help themselves. We had to bash ourselves again, maybe because the rest of the world had nothing but good to say about us. When people have gotten used to being failures, they do not know what to do with success.
This has reference to the escalation of hostilities in Sabah between the Sultanate of Sulu and the Malaysian government.
By Conrado de Quiros
You’d imagine it was happening in Syria or Afghanistan or some war-torn part of the world. That comes from the stories being told by Filipinos who have been horribly maltreated or whose kin have been shot to death by Malaysian security forces in Sabah. In fact that place has now become as war-torn, with all its cruelties, as those other parts of the world.
Judging by the mixed reactions from across the political spectrum, all this finger-pointing about the current standoff in Sabah is, in my humble opinion, counterproductive. Instead of helping solve the problem peacefully through diplomatic means, some people, in their desire to put their two cents in for reasons only they know, fail to see the forest for the trees. I think it would help if we put the whole issue in perspective. Yes, from a layman’s standpoint, I liken the incursion (or excursion as one royal family member jokingly put it) to a forcible entry made by a landlord into the property he has rented out to a tenant.
By Gualberto B. Lumauig
The Occupy Sabah gambit by the heirs/descendants of the 17th-century Sultan of Sulu could not have come at a worst time.
By Conrado de Quiros
Before the bloodbath happened last Friday, Jamalul Kiram was lambasting government for its indifference, if not hostility, to his cause. Indeed for perfidiously siding with Malaysia over them, fellow Filipinos.
By John Nery
Among the many commentaries and perspective-setting pieces I’ve read on Lahad Datu and the crisis in northern Borneo, I found five particularly useful. Some conflict with others on crucial points; each has a different emphasis—but all agree that history is alive, kicking dust in Sabah.
The loss of life in Lahad Datu last Friday was tragic, in the original Greek sense: It was inevitable. The standoff between a few hundred followers of the Sultan of Sulu camped out in a farming village in Sabah and the Malaysian security forces surrounding them had spiraled into a crisis, and a firefight was only a matter of time.
By Conrado de Quiros
The news was spotty at first. Toward noon of Friday, a report flashed on TV that said a firefight had erupted between the Malaysian security forces and the Kiram group in Sabah with minor casualties. Shortly later a correction was made that there was no firefight at all, the Malaysians had only fired warning shots. Still later, yet another correction was made that a firefight had indeed taken place with undetermined casualties. By nightfall, it was definite. The Malaysian security forces had stormed the Kiram group’s lair, killing 12 while suffering two casualties.