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Philippines and Its Conflict with Other States

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Every night when we open our TV to watch the daily news there is always an update to the conflicts that the Philippines involve in. Today in my paper, I am going to discuss two of those conflicts.

Part I

The Sabah Claim

March 1, 2013 a news broke out all over the TV that a group of royal army headed by Datu Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram brother of the Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III was stealthily entered Sabah, Malaysia. The report stated that once again our Muslim brothers wanted to claim their ownership over Sabah. And because of their action, the Philippine is now in a conflict with Malaysia. Schools in Malaysia had been closed and the children are terrified as to what might

happen to them next. Shops had been closed and small businesses are

dying. Offices are closed and possibly raided. There are also reports that Filipinos was treated inhumanely by the Malaysian police and some of them were forcibly sent back to the Philippines for lacking of necessary documents to justify their stay in Malaysia. Furthermore, the Malaysian government conducted a search-and-destroy operation or as what they call it Operation Daulat (Sovereignty). The said operation was launched to "search and annihilate" and flush out all the remnants of the sultanate's forces. Since the initiation of the operation, 56 of Sulu gunmen had been killed but only 44 bodies were discovered.

Philippine government is trying their best to resolve the conflict. In the next paragraph, I will discuss their move and try to give my own recommendations.

The Philippine's Actions

Pres. Aquino ordered Sultan Kiram III to show his true leadership by ordering his brother Datu Kiram and his followers to back out and return to the Philippines. According to him, the sultanate's followers do not only risk the Philippines relation to Malaysia but also their lives and the lives of thousand Filipinos staying there. For me, the action of Pres. Aquino is a good one because he only showed his people and other countries that he wants to settle the dispute in a peaceful manner. Also, I do believe if the royal army continues their doings, the Philippines may involve in a total war against Malaysia. A war that "portray the enemies as demons" and "distinctions between military and civilians may no longer exist". And we all know that our country is not ready for this.

After ordering Sultan Kiram III, Pres. Aquino started a diplomatic initiative to secure the well-being of the Filipino citizens and Kiram's followers in Malaysia. Philippine Marines was sent to insure their protection. Furthermore, according to the President if Kiram's royal army will be proved that they incited war which violated the state policies, they will be punished in accordance with the law. These actions only demonstrate that Philippine is doing their every move not by impulse but by logical and legal reasons. As you can see, even Kiram's warriors insulted a little bit our government by going to other territory secretly and fully-armed, our government still worried for their safety. Moreover, if the government will prosecute sultanate's followers after they are proven guilty, this only shows that our government is serious and does not tolerate actions that will endanger our relation to other country and the lives of our fellow Filipinos.

Further Recommendations

Even for me the action of the Philippine's government is already good, I still want to recommend some things on how to settle the conflict once and for all.

First, Pres. Aquino should talk to Sultan Kiram III together with his brother, Datu Kiram. And then Pres. Aquino should ask them that if they really want to claim the Sabah, the claim should be done for the Philippines and not for them alone and they should cooperate with government and do not do any hasty actions. After they decided on what to do, Pres. Aquino should initiate entente diplomacy so the Malaysia government will withdraw from "its warlike position." Then, Pres. Aquino should appeal to the International Court of Justice and bring the case there. Philippines need to use the legal and historical evidences on claiming the territory; I do believe we have solid evidences to fortify our claim. Moreover, the Philippines should not forget to give justice to those Filipinos who treated inhumanely by the Malaysian police by bringing the case to the United Nation. And lastly, Filipino should be united through prayer that the conflict should be over soon for a peaceful relation of the two countries.

Part II

The Scarborough Dispute

Scarborough Shoal or as the Philippines call it the Panatag Shoal can be located to the West Philippines Sea or South China Sea, the shoal consists of reef and corals and despite for its small size its potential of huge oil and gas reserves and freedom from the sea lanes had been the caused for the Philippine conflict to the China and other Southeast Asian neighbor. In fact last April 10, 2012 there was a naval standoff between Philippines and China. The standoff sparked when Chinese ships prevented the Philippine Navy from arresting Chinese fishermen; the fishermen were caught possessing live sharks and other endangered species.




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