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Let us not politicize Sabah issue; welfare of .8M Filipinos in Sabah is “paramount” – Drilon

Team PNoy campaign manager Sen. Franklin M. Drilon on Monday/Mar. 4 appealed to both “allies and foes not to politicize” the Sabah issue and let President Aquino and government diplomats handle the situation.

“Let us not jeopardize the safety, security and livelihood of 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah by issuing reckless and incendiary statements,” Drilon told a press briefing at the new campaign headquarters in Makati of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition.

“Let’s not muddle an already complicated situation,” Drilon said, referring to the Sabah standoff.

Drilon said the welfare of Filipinos caught in the fire fight that ensued following the standoff is “paramount” to the Aquino administration.

“Rest assured that the President is on top of the situation. Campaign rhetoric should take a backseat so that we can properly address the welfare of 800,000 Filipinos living in Sabah. Already 300 of our countrymen have been deported. We are making this appeal in behalf of our compatriots who are living and earning their living in Malaysia,” he said.

Team PNoy spokesman Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo said the Sabah dispute is a delicate issue which should be handled properly so that it would not evolve into an intra-country dispute.

“Paano kung ‘yung 300 maging 30,000 o kaya 300,000 ang pauuwiin sa ating mga kababayan? Nakita po natin ito nang magkaroon ng financial crisis sa Malaysia. Napakalalim po at napakomplikado po ng usapin na ito kaya apela ko sa lahat na kung puwede ay magkaisa po tayo,” Quimbo said.

Another administration coalition spokesman, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone appealed for calm and sobriety, noting how the issue could escalate beyond control.

“Nakakabahala yung mga political kibitzers na naglilitawan ngayon, mga bagong organisasyon na nagsusulputan. Nanawagan po tayo na ‘wag na nating palakihin ito at gawing balang pampolitika. Marami po ang maapektuhan. Yung mga wala naman pong  kinalaman ay tantanan na po natin ito,” Evardone said.#

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