Mar 042013


MANILA, Philippines – A political analyst on Monday called for emotional restraint as tension between the royal army of the Sultanate of Sulu and the Malaysian authorities escalated in Sabah.

In an interview with Radyo Inquirer, Professor Rommel Banlaoi, executive director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence, and Terrorism, said that violent reactions from the public would only aggravate the situation.

“We have to exercise self-restraint,” he said, pointing out that he has observed “mutual reactions” from both sides of the Filipino and Malaysian people.

Violent reactions could spill over and cause further conflict, he said. “We are observers, we have to be calm.”

Banlaoi also urged the government to make a stand on the sultanate’s claim to Sabah.

“Dapat ma-clarify ang position ng gobyerno sa Sabah. Napapanahon na rin na ma-clarify ng gobyerno kung ano talaga ang opisyal na position nito–kung dormant man, ida-drop ba o ipapaglaban ba? [The government should clarify its position on the sultanate’s claim to Sabah. It is about time that the government clarify its official position—if it is dormant, will we drop it or will we fight for it?]” he asked.

For more of the interview, listen to Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

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