Sabah debacle: The Philippine ‘Teflon’ Government of President Noynoy Aquino


noynoy_aquino_sabahYou sometimes wonder how much of the foreign press is under the payroll of the Philippine and Malaysian governments considering the sort of slants they lend to the “reports” they publish about a region they presume to know…

The Philippine government said Tuesday it had tried bring a peaceful end to the standoff by sending Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario to Malaysia urge restraint, while Philippine President Benigno Aquino III twice appeared on national television in recent days to urge Mr. Kiram’s followers to lay down their arms and end their quest.

“We’ve done everything we could to prevent this, but in the end, Mr. Kiram’s people chose this path,” Philippine government spokesman Ricky Carandang said.

In case the the Wall Street Journal hadn’t noticed, to claim to have “done everything” without actually having spoken to Jamalul Kiram III, claimant to the title of Sultan of Sulu, is quite simply textbook lying. The festering of the debacle points to a deep systemic failure in the way the Philippine Government under the leadership of President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III works.

It fails even in the simple task of taking accountability in the real sense of the term. Shortly after Carandang issued this statement, Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario owned up to the snafu surrounding a set of letters sent by Kiram to Aquino back in 2010 shortly after he took oath as President. The letters which articulated Kiram’s position on the Philippines’ long-standing claim on Sabah were reportedly “coursed through the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (Opapp)” and not the Department of Foreign Affairs (which brings to question del Rosario’s sudden emergence as Malacanang’s chosen Fall Guy in this debacle).

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True to his usual form, President BS Aquino was left scratching his head while flashing his usual ngiting aso (dog-like smile)…

“Let me say to Sultan Jamalul Kiram III: I have just been made aware that a letter to me, from you, was sent through OPAPP in the very first weeks of my term, when we were organizing the government. Unfortunately, this letter was lost in the bureaucratic maze. Let me make clear that there was no intention to ignore your letter. Knowing this now, will you let your mistaken belief dictate your course of action?”

Unfortunately it’s so far been too little too late mixed with heaps of banal Pinoy-style ineptitude. Considering this astounding display of washing-blood-off-hands on the part of the Philippine President, it is hardly surprising that the Kiram clan is reportedly not impressed…

The Kiram clan turned a cold shoulder today to reports that the Philippine government wants to apologise for losing the letter it wrote in 2010, pointing out that it was too late as many Filipinos have already died during the violent clashes in Sabah.

Fatima Celia, wife of the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, said on ABN-CBS News Channel in the Philippines tonight that the government should instead apologise to the families left behind by the Sulu’s “royal security force”.

Who can one trust, for that matter, when one is dealing with the worst sort of governance abomination — a Teflon Government?

For its part, the Malaysian government — that other creation of European imperialism that remains largely irrelevant to the Sulu Sultanate clansmen that now run amok across “national” borders — has quite a bit to answer for. As the editor points out in light of the spreading Mindanao insurgency into the jungles of North Borneo it is a case of bad karma rearing its ugly head…

[…] because Kuala Lumpur did allow [Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)] rebels to train in Sabah all those many years ago (or determinedly looked the other way), it is now grappling with a ghost: the prospect of armed men hiding in the Sabah countryside that they call both ancient homeland and old training ground.

People caught with their pants down tend to overcomepensate in whatever comeback they could cobble together, and the Malaysian government did so spectacularly with its expensive toys — “military aircraft dropping bombs on a band of men (and women) armed only with handguns and rifles”. Classy.

[Photo courtesy National Democratic Front.]

9 Replies to “Sabah debacle: The Philippine ‘Teflon’ Government of President Noynoy Aquino”

  1. ‘It’s the presidency, stupid’

    Even after 3 years the reluctant president shows no sign of understanding the role, trying to act presidential, listening to his “bosses”, or applying basic common sense in issues/decision making. Empathy at home and diplomacy abroad are so sadly lacking it makes you wonder just how much of a cocoon he has lived in for his 50+ years.

    This is the problem when any country chooses someone with no track record of leadership. In fact p-noy would have difficulty in managing to tie his shoe laces.

    The tags of “student council” and “noynoying” have taken root precisely because so many people see the obvious time and time again, and are fed up with the lies, propaganda, and blame game.

    It is not a conspiracy theory, or GMA supporters, as the president who only wants to hear “good news” continually whines, but people who want results, action, and a leader of intellect, integrity and vision. Instead we get gormless grins and blank looks.

    Whether it is a focus on gameboy, his love-life!, late night karaoke, and ribbon cutting ceremonies, or demonstrating his vindictive streak and his sheer hypocricy, there is nothing unifying, inspiring or edifying, simply a free for all for LP and kkk, as they feather their nests and swell their bank accounts.

    P-noy is the friend of the oligarchs and enemy of the people. His colours and true character have been exposed, and no amount of spin or tantrums will change it.

    If binay becomes president of 2016 no doubt another few years of exposes, denials, trials as the real story of this administration emerges.

    If he wants to hear the roar of the crowd, enjoys the smell of greasepaint, and cracking lame jokes, then he should become cheerleader in chief and campaign manager for someone else, but by dumbing down the presidency to his level is irresponsible and a disservice to the country as a whole.

    The presidency is not about partying and celebrities, it is about passion, committment and hard work.

    If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    We need a better chef, and expect higher standards than junk food, and bad waiters.

    1. No for BINAY as president on 2016.. We select sen BONGBONG MARCOS for the highest position who loves Filipino people and the PHILIPINE nation. May vision for the future of our people..he is charm with good diplomatic knowledge and soft spoken person…

  2. P-noy – political philosophy

    Anything arroyo ( or anyone else) did right, i take the credit.
    Anything i do wrong, arroyo ( or someone else) takes the blame.
    Long live brand aquino, and hacienda luisita.

    Clearly arroyo was was more of a man than p-noy, and p-noy is more of a woman than a transgender in makati avenue.

    “A man can fail many times, but
    he isn’t a failure until he begins
    to blame somebody else.”
    John Burroughs

    Once you blame others you not only lose credibility and respect, but the chance to change the future.

  3. p-noy’s arrogance alone would not let him meet with/recognise a sultan – and address him as your royal highness!!
    in p-noys mind only the cojuangco-aquinos are the royalty of the philippines.
    irrespective of the rights and wrongs/ history/complexities they were consciously excluded from the peace process/negotiations. why?
    that is where the problems started.

  4. p-noy’s arrogance alone would not let him meet with/recognise a sultan – and address him as your royal highness!!
    in p-noys mind only the cojuangco-aquinos are the royalty of the philippines.
    irrespective of the rights and wrongs/ history/complexities they were consciously excluded from the peace process/negotiations. why?
    that is where the problems started.
    when llamas visited the kirams he insulted them with his approach and demands, and that set the ball rolling. he was reflecting aquinos view that they were low life and inconsequential. now he is getting his come-uppance, nationally and internationally..
    bye bye nobel peace prize

  5. Points to ponder:

    -YMMV on whether one consider the Sultan and his men terrorist or not, but when one tries to negotiate with anyone one does NOT start with threats. Threats are used when all other options have been played and BSA did not even try to do a dialogue. Making a dialogue with any group or person/s not just for crisis like this but also for social mingling. You also can’t blame the Sultan for taking such action since BSA effectively cornered him with his threats and a cornered man will have no choice but to fight. Also for those who say that the Sultan should just swallowed his pride and face these so-called “charges” should bear this in mind: We all know how he keeps piling flimsy charges on GMA not to prosecute but to keep her in detention and how former SC Corona was bought down by questionable evidence, hear-say and little ladies with envelopes. Considering how the Yellow justice system works the Sultan decide not to try his luck with said system.

    -BSA was doing his usual procrastination (which can be caused by laziness, low willpower or low ambition among other things) So the Sultan sent a letter to BSA before all of this blew up and he did not receive it. His reason? It got lost… pathetic. Either BSA thought that problem would go away or he was being lazy (both traits by the way are not suitable for a head of state) and when the whole thing blew up where was he? Why campaigning for his minions and Drilon would have us believe that BSA is doing his job by campaigning for his Senate candidates in Pampanga where he took more potshots against GMA again.

    -Now comes the crowning achievement (for now at least) of him being an idiot: The former administration and it’s allies have enacted a “conspiracy” or to put in in his own words “There was connivance allegedly by certain members of the past administration in the formation of this. This is in violation of the Constitution,”. When challenged with providing proof his answer is this: “You are asking me for a conclusion that I wish I had right now. But, again, unless we have the evidence that can be brought before a court… I will not make an accusation,” ….how contradictory. His constant “blame someone else” and “never my fault” antics denotes that he is suffering from a case of extreme Self-serving bias. The fact he never owns up to responsibility shows that this guy is not fit to be a head of state.

    At this point BSA may have reached the peak of being stupid, inept and irresponsible. Time will tell if BSA can’t go any higher (or lower) in his actions.

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