VitugVlogs: Sabah on our minds
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippines’ claim to Sabah has been dormant since 1964.
Rappler’s editor at large Marites Vitug asks, is this a battle we should fight now?
Here’s her video blog.
The ragtag group of armed men from Mindanao who entered Sabah to reclaim-- what they say-- is their homeland achieved one thing.
They have called attention to our country’s lingering claim to Sabah.
In the ‘70s, President Marcos announced he was taking steps to drop this claim.
Succeeding leaders tried to improve relations with our neighbor who hosts about half a million OFWs.
To make things easier for OFWs in Sabah, President Ramos wanted to set up a consulate in Kota Kinabalu.
But Ramos was advised that this would mean a recognition that Sabah belonged to Malaysia.
It would have undermined our country’s claim.
Under President Arroyo, Malaysia became a significant actor in our domestic politics.
It brokered peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front which continues till today.
Now is not the time to create tension with Malaysia.
Besides, focus should be on China whom we have challenged in an international tribunal.
This remains yet to be our biggest diplomatic challenge.
This is Marites Vitug for Vitug Vlogs.