DAVAO CITY, Philippines – A frustrated President Benigno Aquino III expressed, “What do you want me to do?” during a political rally in the city Wednesday with regards to the Sabah issue.
The president faces criticisms and other comments about his actions or inactions on the Sabah-Sulu feud.
Aquino said, “They say I am not pro-Filipino, that what I am doing is not enough.”
“It seems what they want for us to do is to deploy our entire armed forces and join them in their violent means, like pushing our countrymen into disaster.”
“Do they want us to submit our 95 million Filipinos into such chaos? Who has no consideration for our fellow Filipinos now?” he adds.
President Aquino reiterated that he will not let a citizen’s personal interest to win over the majority of the Filipinos.
He had always pleaded and reminded to the sultan of Sulu and his followers in Sabah to return to the Philippines and end the standoff peacefully with all the issues that come with it.
The president said, “So what do they really want me to do? If we send our armed forces there, do they know that Malaysia would think: ‘Are you helping in providing solution or contributing to the gravity of the problem because of the increased number of armed men?”
Aquino also asked the crowd, “If we send unarmed troops, they might be taken hostage, our problem will get bigger. Am I right?”
He received a positive response as the crowd simultaneously replied, “Right.”
He finally said maintaining his stand that the Sabah-Sulu feud can only be addressed through fair, peaceful and reasonable dialogue.
President Aquino had his chance to explain to Davaoeños during the campaign of Team PNoy.