Expose the sinister forces behind the Sabah bloodbath
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2013-03-07

If you appreciate the expense and organization that are required in order to send a 100-man expeditionary force to Sabah — the Kirams claim it’s 200 — then you’ll understand what President Benigno S. Aquino III (P-Noy) meant last March 4 during his press conference in Malacanang. P-Noy referred to sinister forces financing and encouraging the Kirams to undertake their Sabah misadventure.

It’s not like P-Noy to speak from a sketchy intelligence report. P-Noy will err on the side of caution and not reckless bravado. Remember, time and again it was mentioned in this column that P-Noy is well versed in intelligence and national security matters. That was a natural consequence of his family’s experience with coup plots during the term of President Cory. He was well briefed on the activities of sinister forces. They’re now building cases against these instigators. These reports might need more evidence to stand in court but they’re more than sufficient to forewarn the state of destabilization moves.

It must also be appreciated exactly what reliable intelligence reports can do and cannot do. A reliable intelligence report might alert the government of a planned destabilization move and thus be able to thwart it. However, it requires more to be able to bring the plotters to court and convict them, especially with many Serafin Cuevases and Estelito Mendozas available to find the legal defenses that can free the guiltiest.

From facts that are gathered from reliable sources, it’s now known that the Kiram family doesn’t have the financial capacity that can fund a 100-man expeditionary force. Sultan Jamalul Kiram cannot even pay for his twice a week dialysis treatment that’s being shouldered by the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office). After Kiram became frontpage material, his home in Taguig has been accommodating many guests, relatives and visitors. A close friend donates P10,000 worth of groceries a day to be able to feed all these guests, at the very least give them something to drink.

To be able to send a 100-man expeditionary force to Sabah, there will be transport costs, cost of arms and ammunition, board and lodging costs and mobilization costs. An intelligence source said that a one-week activity by a 100-man expeditionary force that’s engaged in constant firefights could easily amount to over P10 million. How could a Kiram family that cannot afford the cost of dialysis finance that?

During his March 4 press conference, P-Noy amplified well the parameters that are guiding his government’s actions. In Sabah, the priority would be the over 800,000 Filipinos working and living in Sabah. Should they be dislocated and forced to return here, that would be a big national security and economic concern because they’ll have no jobs to sustain them and their families here.

It’s disappointing to see online comments that favor prioritizing the troublemakers over the 800,000 of our countrymen working in Sabah.

Quite disappointing too was former senator Dick Gordon, my friend, who tried to make political capital out of the Sabah incident. Gordon’s former bitter adversary, the man who ejected Dick from his Subic post — former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada — was more statesmanlike by opting to support the president in this sensitive international issue. Threatening P-Noy with impeachment because of the government’s actions during this Sabah crisis reeks of bovine ordure. It strikes me that Dick could not accept the verdict of the Filipino people in the 2010 presidential election. He may also be bitter for not landing yet among the so-called winning 12 senators in national polls by SWS and Pulse Asia.

The greatness of a people is demonstrated when they’re in the grip of a severe crisis. We stood ten feet tall before the eyes of the world over how we conducted the People Power Revolution in 1986. Our feat made such an impact that it’s credited for similar inspirations that followed it.

However, in this Sabah incident, we see many Filipinos lose the proper perspective to this crisis and have been misled by their emotions. It’s disappointing how many otherwise right thinking persons have allowed themselves to be taken for a ride by the Sabah adventurers — seeing the troublemakers as romantic brave warriors instead of terrorists. P-Noy is right to compare the situation to our homes being invaded and we’re then asked to negotiate with a gun pointed to our forehead. Would these same Filipinos still see home invaders as romantic warriors? Fat chance they’d see them that way.

You have to be bothered when some of your so-called educated people fail to appreciate what’s bad from what’s good and misconstrue terrorism as romantic adventure. You have to be bothered when some of your so-called educated people irresponsibly promote the wild notion that we should consider intervening in the Sabah incident without as much as recognizing the sovereign right of Malaysia and the act of terrorism that Kiram’s followers have committed. If what Kiram and his followers did is right, then what’s wrong when a Palestinian goes to the busiest area of Tel Aviv where many Filipinos work and there detonate a mega bomb?

This Sabah incident proved the corruption in the Filipino mind, a mind that’s guided by emotions instead of principles.

* * *

Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

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