The Inbox

Aquino upset by DFA statement on Malaysia’s human rights violations

Commentary

AFP NewsMohd Rasfan - Residents of Tanjung Labian flee their village, in the area where Filipino gunmen are locked …

By Ellen Tordesillas

In the press conference of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in Malacañang yesterday on the arrest of 35 armed men from Sabah, she was asked why the government is quick on acting against the people associated with the Lahad Datu standoff and is not acting on reports on maltreatment by Malaysians of Filipinos in Sabah.

De Lima justified the glaring difference in their reactions to the fact the armed men believed to be members of the Royal Security Force of the Sultan of Sulu were intercepted by the Philippine Navy in the high seas of Tawi-Tawi with firearms and deadly weapons which is a violation of the Comelec gun ban.

She skipped the second part of the question and the reporter did not follow it up.

Reliable information we got from Malacañang explains why De Lima, formerly chairperson of the Human Rights Commission, kept quiet on the issue of gross human rights violations by Malaysia against Filipinos in Sabah.

A source said President Aquino was upset that the Department of Foreign Affairs, which got involved only in the Sabah issue on the third week of the crisis (Malacanang considered it a domestic issue and involved only the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Department of Justice), issued a statement last Sunday expressing “grave concern (on) the alleged rounding up of community members of Suluk/Tausug descent in Lahad Datu and other areas in Sabah and the alleged violations of human rights reported in the media by some Filipinos who arrived in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi from Sabah.”

The DFA said “The allegations are alarming and should be properly and immediately addressed by concerned authorities.”

The DFA pleaded for access to Filipinos being held “in several locations in Sabah but outside the ‘Ops Daulat’ area,” …to enable them to fulfill their mission which is to provide humanitarian and consular assistance to Filipinos who have been affected by the incident. This was rejected by Malaysia.

Malaysia only allowed Philippine embassy officials in the evacuation centers. Malaysia has also ignored Philippine request for a Philippine Navy ship to dock in Sabah to fetch Filipinos fleeing from abusive Malaysian authorities and the request for a human corridor to allow women and children non-combatants to use.

Take note that Malacanang that Aquino, who had strong words against Jamalulu Kiram III, never said anything about Malaysia’s maltreatment of Filipinos. It was only Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte who said last Sunday, in answer to a question, “these reports are unacceptable.”

Two days after, she followed it up with a requirement that the Department of Social Welfare and Development needs a “ written statement.”

She said media interviews are not enough. “Hindi lang ‘yung basta-basta magpapa-interview—pero ‘yung talagang magsasabing, ‘Ito po ‘yung nangyari, willing po akong magbigay ng statement at pumirma na ito po ‘yung aking nasaksihan',” she said.

One wonders why is the President, in the midst of Malaysia’s pambabastos (rudenesss), he is still so careful not to offend Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The answer is in the announcement of Presidential Adviser for Peace Process Ging Deles and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front that peace talks, being brokered by Malaysia, will resume next week in Kuala Lumpur.

Deles has been quoted earlier that the Sabah crisis would not affect the peace talks with the MILF.

Over 60 dead and business as usual?

Check out these related articles:

Malaysia treats PH like dirt and Malacañang takes it timidly

UN appeal internationalizes what PH calls a domestic issue

‘Don’t play into Malaysia’s hand’

What to do with Sabah

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • PSEi breaches 8,000 level, but profit-taking pared most gains

    [caption id="attachment_257092" align="alignleft" width="150"] PSEi breaches 8,000 mark (PSE photo)[/caption] Local share prices surged on a slew of positive news from abroad, sending the Philippine Stock Exchange index past the 8,000 mark for the first time in history. BDO Unibank chief market strategist Jonathan Ravelas said the market rose due to “positive foreign equity portfolio flows and Fed Chair Yellen’s comments last week reiterating thethat the FOMC will be data dependent and …

  • Abandoned, hard-up husband hits P60-M Lotto pot

    Lady luck finally smiled on a hard-up tricycle driver, who endured being abandoned by his wife and seeing his children drop out of school before hitting the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) 6/45 Lotto jackpot worth nearly P60 million. PCSO acting chairman Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II said the 29-year old lucky bettor hit the jackpot in the March 20 draw by correctly picking the winning numbers 02-03-14-22-29-30, which corresponds to the birth anniversary dates of his family members. …

  • News In Brief

    P/$ RATE CLOSES AT P44.80/$1The peso exchange rate closed  lower  at P44.80  to the US dollar yesterday at the Philippine Dealing & Exchange Corp. (PDEx) from P44.76  last  Friday.  The weighted average rate  unchanged  to  P44.796  from  P44.796.  Total volume amounted to $340.6 million.PUMP PRICES RAISED THIS WEEKThe pump prices of gasoline products will be raised by P1.10 per liter this week and diesel by P0.60 per liter, according to the oil companies. In an advisory to the media, the oil …

  • Need for modern national sports complex underscored

    Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara yesterday pushed for the construction of a “state-of-the-art” and “highly scientific sports complex” that can be used by the country’s national athletes for high-level training and total wellness program. Angara, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Games, Amusement and Sports, said the government should at least provide decent support to its athletes by providing them with ultramodern sports venues and facilities if it wants them to improve the country’s …

  • Makati mayor slams PNP’s role in mayoralty row

    Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin S. Binay denounced what he called apparent “misuse” of the Philippine National Police (PNP) force in the implementation of “selective suspension” of government officials not allied with the ruling party. Binay said he sympathizes with PNP personnel who often got caught in the middle of political conflicts, and called for an end to dirty political tactics. [caption id="attachment_257243" align="aligncenter" width="648"] THANKSGIVING MEAL – Vice President Jejomar C. …

  • EVAP warns of unscrupulous foreign electric vehicle suppliers

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines  (EVAP) has cautioned local manufacturers and end users against unscrupulous foreign EV suppliers that are flocking into the domestic market. In a sunrise industry like the electric vehicle industry, EVAP stressed that choosing the right partner or supplier is a difficult task. “In the absence of any track record to review, an end user is at a loss as to how to choose a reliable and competent supplier,” said Atty. Bodie Pulido, EVAP …

  • Mayors laud bill increasing tax revenue allocation for LGUs

    The League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) is backing the proposed increase in the annual automatic allocations for local government units (LGUs) to boost inclusive growth with improved infrastructure, modernized agriculture and easier access to resources. Mayor Jess Burahan, secretary-general of the LMP said the empowerment of LGUs through added resources is a game changer in boosting inclusive growth. …

  • Freeze order against Jinggoy assets final; Bong guards face raps

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has turned down with finality the plea of Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to lift the freeze order on his properties amounting to more than P183 million. In a resolution released yesterday, the Fifth Division denied Estrada’s motion for reconsideration that sought that the court lift its writ of preliminary attachment/garnishment that was issued on February 17 that ordered the freeze of his properties. “As movant has not filed a counterbond and his arguments …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options