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Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Quezon City

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS

Third Regular Session

HOUSE RESOLUTION No. 3042

Introduced by Rep. TEDDY A. CASIÑO

RESOLUTION
DIRECTING THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO CONDUCT
AN INVESTIGATION ON THE ONGOING ARMED CONFLICT BETWEEN
MALAYSIA AND THE FILIPINO MUSLIMS LED BY THE SULTANATE OF SULU
AND THE PROPRIETY OF THE POSITION TAKEN BY PRESIDENT
BENIGNO AQUINO III IN SUPPORTING MALAYSIA AND THEREBY
UNDERMINING THE PHILIPPINE CLAIM ON SABAH

WHEREAS, on February 12, 2013, around 200 supporters of the Sulu Sultanate led by crown prince Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram, brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, entered Sabah to re-assert the Sultanate’s and the Philippines’ territorial claim on Sabah;

WHEREAS, the group said they were there in their homeland to peacefully settle the territorial dispute with Malaysia. However, they were immediately surrounded and threatened by Malaysian security forces who considered them “intruders” and “security threats;”

WHEREAS, it was only in February 26, 2013, amid the two-week standoff, that President Benigno Aquino III issued his statement on the issue. He called on the Sultanate’s forces to return to the Philippines and in the same breath announced plans to press criminal and war charges against the Sultan and his supporters. He rejected the Sultan’s plea for a dialogue before pulling out of Sabah;

WHEREAS, the President not only shamelessly admitted the bureaucracy’s grave mistake of misplacing Sultan Kiram’s letter in 2010 and 2011 requesting that the President revive the Sabah claim and consider including it in the peace talks;

WHEREAS, three days later, Malaysian security forces attacked Kiram’s group, leaving 12 Filipinos dead, as well as the owner of the house where they were staying in. Two Malaysian security forces were killed in the assault;

WHEREAS, Malaysia should not have resorted to military operations since they were in control of the area and had, in fact, surrounded Kiram’s men. There was still enough time and opportunity to exhaust all options to peacefully solve the problem;

WHEREAS, instead of protesting the Malaysian government’s violent actions against Filipino Muslims and demanding that Malaysia end hostilities, President Aquino called for the surrender of Kiram’s group, without conditions thus echoing and justifying Malaysia’s militarist solution to the dispute;

WHEREAS, as of the filing of this resolution, no dialogue has been set between the President and the Sultan of Sulu amid the latter conveniently residing in Metro Manila;

WHEREAS, the President’s position for the pull-out and surrender of Filipino Muslims and the preparation of charges once they come back to Philippine territory favors the Malaysian position and jeopardizes the national interest and our claim on Sabah;

WHEREAS, with the antagonistic relations of the Executive and the Sultanate, Congress should immediately investigate the ongoing armed conflict in Sabah and push for a cessation of hostilities and the peaceful settlement of the Sultanate and the Philippines’ claim on Sabah;

WHEREAS, it is in our national interest that the government revive the Philippine claim on Sabah. Sabah is inhabited by some 800,000 Filipinos. It is rich in oil, gas and other natural resources. There are solid historical and legal grounds for reclaiming Sabah. This must be the basis of any acceptable resolution of the ongoing armed conflict;

WHEREAS, the Philippine government must follow through on its official claim to the territory not only for the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu but for the Filipino people and the nation. It must not abandon our Filipino Muslim brothers and sisters on the island, who consider Sabah as part of their ancestral domain;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Committee on Foreign Affairs conduct an investigation on the ongoing armed conflict between Malaysia and the Filipino Muslims led by the Sultanate of Sulu and the propriety of the position taken by President Benigno Aquino III in supporting Malaysia and thereby undermining the Philippine claim on Sabah.

Adopted,

REP. TEDDY A. CASIÑO
Bayan Muna Party-list

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