Sabah Question


(Editor's note: Sabah has a land area of 28,460 sq mi, a bit smaller than Luzon (40,420 sq mi) and Mindanao (36,537 sq mi). Land disputes in our country cannot be settled in 20 or 30 years, as noted by the author.)

The first US politician to win a Nobel Peace Prize was President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) for his role as peacemaker in the Russo-Japanese War in 1905. It was in his dealings with the Republican state machine that Roosevelt commented: "I have always been fond of the West African proverb: 'Speak softly and carry a big stick, you will go far.'"

Ragtag Army

The LP administration, according to the sultan of Sulu, has abandoned the sultanate's cause to recover Sabah (Malaysia) as a territory of the sultanate (or part of the Philippines). To reassert this old claim, the sultanate sent to Sabah a ragtag "army" of less than 500 soldiers. Conquest is recognized in history as a valid source of sovereignty, occupation, and cession of territory if it SUCCEEDS.

Spanish conquest

Spanish conquest of our country in 1565 was recognized by the whole world. Spain's colonial administration lasted 333 years and ended on August 13, 1898, when Commodore Dewey's fleet and the US Army captured Manila. The US conquest was made valid under the terms of the Treaty of Paris signed between Spain and the United States on December 10, 1898.

Deed of Sale?

The Spanish forces/government surrendered to the Americans and sovereignty was transferred to the US by means of conquest which the whole world did not question before the Treaty of Paris was ratified by the US Senate on February 6, 1899 and by the Cortes of Spain on March 19, 1899 and the treaty publicly proclaimed. On March 2, 1899, the US Congress voted the sum of $20,000,000 and paid it to Spain on May 1, 1899. Most Filipino historians refer to the treaty of conquest as a "deed of SALE," without the consent of Filipinos who fought the Spanish forces, beating them in Manila and in all towns and provinces.

Where's the big stick?

If the sultan's "royal army" had spoken softly and carried a big stick to Sabah, the whole world would have a strong basis to stand on: 1) against the sultan or for him, 2) for or against Malaysia, 3) or a mediator with the "big stick" mentioned by Teddy Roosevelt could come forward to offer options to both parties in the interest of peace. …

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