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President Aquino orders Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice and Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct a research and craft roadmap for peaceful solution of Sabah issue

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A Facebook page that carried the name of Nur Misuari, the leader of the Moro National Liberation Front that waged a secessionist war against the Philippine government during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in the 70s, posted this photo apparently comprising  of former MNLF soldiers being portrayed as on their way to Sabah “to help their fellow Muslims” the Tausugs. A note on the page says: “This page is approved but not directly manage by Prof. Misuari – Professor Dr. Nur P. Misuari, MNLF founding leader & Central Committee chairman; UN Peace Awardee; Nobel Peace Laureate Nominee. The standoff in Sabah has killed at least 60 people, according to reports.

(CORREGIDOR ISLAND, Cavite) President Benigno S. Aquino III said on Monday that he directed the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice and the Office of the Executive Secretary to conduct a research and craft a proposed roadmap towards a peaceful resolution of the Sabah issue.

In his speech keynoting the groundbreaking ceremonies for the development of the Mindanao Garden of Peace in commemoration of the 45th year of the Jabidah massacre here, the Chief Executive said the use of violence is not the effective way to resolve the Sabah issue.

“Ang tungkulin ko po: halughugin ang kasaysayan para sa mga katotohanang ito, at mula roon ay maglatag ng direksyon na tatahakin ng ating bansa ukol sa usapin ng Sabah—isang direksyong sinisiguro ko po sa inyo ay hindi gagamit ng dahas. Inatasan ko na po ang DFA, DOJ, at ang ating Executive Secretary upang magsaliksik at magmungkahi ng isang roadmap tungo sa mapayapang resolusyon ng isyu ng Sabah,” the President said.

The President expressed sadness over the standoff in Lahad Datu in Sabah, Malaysia, that resulted in the loss of lives of many Filipinos.

He called on the Filipinos to remember the grim chapter in the country’s history known as the Jabidah Massacre and asked his fellow countrymen to learn from history that violence is not the effective way to resolve the Sabah issue.

Following the tragic Jabidah incident, several Moro communities lost trust and confidence in the government of then President Ferdinand Marcos.

“Dahil sa insidenteng Jabidah, tuluyan na ngang nawala ang kanilang tiwala sa pambansang pamahaalan; nagsimula silang pumalag, kaya’t pinadala ang Konstabularyo, na kinalaunan ay pinalitan ng Sandatahang Lakas. Nanganak ng dahas ang dahas; ang mali, nagbunga ng mas malalaki pang mali,” he stressed.

“Trahedya po ang nangyayari ngayon sa Lahad Datu, gaya ng trahedya na nangyari sa Jabidah. Ngunit marahil ang pinakamalaki pong trahedya ay tila yata hindi pa tayo natututo sa mga aral ng nakaraan—na ang pagsunod sa batas, at ang pagrespeto sa mga patakaran, ang tanging makatarungang tugon sa mga hamong kinakaharap natin,” the President said.

“Hindi po ba’t puwede naman sanang maiwasan ang situwasyong ito, kung pumasok lamang tayo sa tamang proseso? Anuman pong pilit nating magsimpatiya, hindi po maiwasang manghinayang, malungkot, at masubok ang ating pasensya—dahil gaya ng nangyari sa Jabidah unit, may mga taong inuna ang sarili, kaysa ang kapakanan ng ating mga kapwa Pilipino,” he added.

The President underscored the need for cooperation among the government, the public and all other entities to achieve a solution to the dispute.

During the event, the President also honored the Jabidah martyrs who laid down their own lives for a just cause.

“Magsilbi rin po sanang tanda ng pagkilala ng pamahalaan sa pagdurusa ng mga Moro ang aking pagpunta rito. Hindi man po natin mababago ang pagkakamali ng nakaraan, tungkulin nating siguruhing hindi na mauulit ito. Nawa’y maalala natin ang naiwasan sanang pagdanak ng dugo ng ating mga kababayan; sa ating paggunita, harinawa, ay mabibigyang-saysay ang kanilang pagkamatay,” he said.

The President likewise directed the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to recognize the Mindanao Garden of Peace as a historical landmark.

“Maaari na ring mabasa sa ating Official Gazette, sa pakikipag-ugnayan sa NHCP, ang ilang mga detalye: Ang kasaysayan ng mga pangyayaring kaugnay ng Jabidah unit, ang timeline ng mga peace process sa pagitan ng pamahalaan at ng MNLF at MILF, at iba pang kaalamang maaaring magmulat sa publiko at magtaas ng antas ng diskurso,” the President said.

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