VitugVlogs: What next in Sabah?
MANILA, Philippines - The entry of Filipinos into Sabah claiming it as their own escalates into a stand-off, incurs Malaysia’s retaliation and now the triggers the exodus of Filipinos from the area.
Rappler’s editor-at-large Marites Vitug asks, What’s next?
Here’s her video blog.
There are 2 ways the crisis in Sabah could end: violently or peacefully.
The followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III could wage a prolonged guerrilla war—they can slip into the homes of the villagers and blend with the locals—or they can pull out and return to Mindanao.
The first scenario is deadly.
The gains in Philippine-Malaysia relations built up through 2 decades will be eroded.
A crack in consensus-driven Asean will be created—which can set back the momentum for a borderless economic community in 2015.
This will also delay the peace process being forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The second scenario can happen if President Aquino meets with Kiram and assures him of government attention to their proprietary claim to Sabah.
The sultan’s call for a unilateral ceasefire is a signal for dialogue.
What then is the next step?
Start negotiations with Kuala Lumpur to settle the Kirams’ claim. After all, they are not starting from scratch.
This is Marites Vitug for VitugVlogs.