Sulu sultan’s ‘missing letter’ found with DFA—Del Rosario


Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario: Full responsibility. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario has taken “full responsibility” for failing to attend to a letter that Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s brother had sent President Benigno Aquino III in 2010 to seek the Sulu sultanate’s participation in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

In a statement early Wednesday, the DFA bared that the “missing letter” of Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram had been found to be in the foreign office’s keep.

Kiram (the brother) is now at the lead of the Sulu group standing their ground in Sabah, Malaysia, where gunfights erupted last week as the Sultan’s followers refused to leave the district of Lahad Datu asserting ownership of the territory.

“On the issue of the missing letter written by Raja Muda Agbimuddin Kiram to the President days before the President took his oath in June 2010, that letter has been found with the DFA. The Secretary is taking full responsibility for the oversight,” said the DFA.

The statement did not elaborate on the content of the letter and how it got “lost in the bureaucratic maze,” as Aquino himself had said last week in explaining why the government had failed to respond to the sultanate’s letter.

In addressing Kiram on Feb. 26, Aquino said, “There was no intention to ignore your letter.”

The Kirams had said their group decided to pursue the Philippines’ claim to Sabah last month as they felt left out of the peace negotiations between the government and the MILF. The two sides had achieved strides last year, with the signing of a framework agreement for the establishment of a Bangsamoro juridical entity.

The DFA said the Kirams’ independent act in Sabah “should not affect the peace process with the MILF.”

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  • Tamarindwalk

    Perhaps it’s time for a new foreign secretary.

  • disqusted0fu

    Lost in the bureaucratic maze has to be the lamest excuse we could ever hear from the President. And he does make a lot of excuses. In fact, he is again trying to make GMA his excuse to this whole Sabah standoff, claiming that there is a conspiracy headed by perhaps GMA and former officials of her administration. Pnoy has a very imaginative mind! 

  • disqusted0fu

    It looks like DFA Sec. was thrown as the sacrificial lamb. The letter was addressed to Pnoy, why would it end up with the DFA Sec.? Pnoy is the one who is supposed to be reading it and acting up on it. But he is under some extreme criticism now and he can’t take any more responsibility so the DFA Sec. had to take one for the team.

  • Diepor

    Its alot of people sending letters, it takes time to answer all of them.

  • nakatutok

    scapegoat na naman si Sec…parang nung issue ni Trillanes as backdoor negotiator sa China….

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