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The militant and national democratic labor center, Kilusang Mayo Uno, which is comprised of multiple national and regional labor federations and unions, has criticized president Aquino’s attempt to “save face” over his inaction during the ongoing human rights crisis in Sabah:
A poor attempt at saving face.
This was how labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno described today Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s call for talks over the Sabah crisis, saying the chief executive wants to appear like he’s standing up for peace and the country’s sovereignty after allowing Malaysian authorities to kill Filipinos in Sabah and violate their human rights.
Aquino’s call, made last Sunday at the graduation rites of the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio City, came after 62 Filipinos and 10 Malaysian police and military forces were already killed and after allegations of abuses of Filipinos’ human rights surfaced in the course of the Malaysian government’s armed offensive in the disputed territory.
“Aquino cheered on when the Malaysian government was launching a massacre of Filipinos in Sabah and was violating Filipinos’ human rights. Now, he wants to project himself as a peace advocate and a patriot. What a hypocrite,” said Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general.
“What will he say when he faces Malaysia? He hasn’t issued a clear stand on the country’s territorial claim to Sabah. He will most likely formally surrender the country’s long-standing claim to the disputed territory,” he said.
“We condemn the Aquino government for acting as the Malaysian government’s jailers of Filipinos who are trying to flee Sabah. It sided with the Malaysian government when the latter unleashed violence against Filipinos and is now trying to jail those who are fleeing from the disputed territory,” Soluta said.
The labor leader reiterated KMU’s call for the public to participate in a “people’s protest” on March 20, saying one of the protest’s objectives is condemning Aquino’s actions on the Sabah issue.
The labor center had earlier called for a “Protestang Bayan vs. Nagtataasang Presyo, Pribatisasyon at Pagtataksil sa Soberanya,” a nationally-coordinated protest characterized by protest centers in workplaces, urban poor communities, schools, jeepney terminals, among others.
“Workers and the poor are angered by Aquino’s lack of concern for them amidst soaring prices. His uncaring attitude towards Filipinos was further highlighted by his handling of the Sabah issue,” Soluta said.
“Filipinos are getting increasingly angry at Aquino for siding with big capitalists on the issue of price hikes and with Malaysia on the Sabah issue. He has repeatedly betrayed us,” he added.