Nograles asks President Aquino to call for special Congress session over Sabah row

Subscribe Now March 09, 2013 at 08:21am

House Assistant Majority Leader and Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles has urged President Benigno Aquino III to call for a special session by Congress to deal with the deteriorating situation in Sabah. Nograles said Congress, through House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, can invite counterpart parliamentarians from Malaysia to draw up legislation that could help end the Sabah stalemate.

"There is a deep-rooted cause of this conflict, which should not be taken for granted," Nograles said, adding "there is also a very good way to help solve this impasse through the good offices of parliament."

"We in Congress could open a way to make direct contact with our parliamentary counterparts in Malaysia and use our established goodwill to help find an honorable alternative without prejudice to mutual national interests," he said.

Nograles expressed sadness over the ongoing stalemate in Sabah as the nation awaits the final peace accord between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) with Malaysia playing an important role as mediator.

The lawmaker also appealed to contending parties to go into a ceasefire "to give way to an honorable way out of the bloody confrontation and possible conflagration."

He issued the statement even as Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III on Thursday called for a unilateral ceasefire in the standoff in Malaysia-controlled Sabah, which was, however, rejected by the Malaysian government.

Violence has continued and the death toll rose to more than 60 people.

"There can never be a peaceful and honorable solution to this conflict if all sides will not refrain from resorting to violence," Nograles said.

Kiram is laying claim on the territory currently under the government of Malaysia.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon voiced concern over the situation in Sabah, urging an end to the violence.


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