by xiaochua

Map of Sabah

Map of Sabah

“I believe in the validity of our claim to Sabah, per se.

“I believe we must pursue our claim to a legal end in the International Court of Justice, that the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu or their assignees and successors must be in any case be compensated.

“I believe in upholding the national patrimony and national dignity against any and all odds, but I hold we are called upon as the leaders, to caution against all acts of rashness.

“I believe in country—“My country, right or wrong,” as somebody said, but I must take issue with those who will PLUNGE US INTO UNDUE TRAGEDY BY SELFISH MOTIVES.

“…We have shown a capacity to endure stoically and stolidly when faced with adversity, but need we afflict our people with calamity and tragedy needlessly?

“We have shown we can be revolted and revulsed, but need we yield to blind passion, to rage, over reaction to something WE STARTED IN THE FIRST PLACE?

“Our courage, our valor, and our love of country were tested under enemy fire in Bataan, Corregidor and the hills around Batac, but NEED WE SACRIFICE OUR YOUTH AND OUR FUTURE IN AN EXERCISE IN FUTILITY?

“The need, Mr. President, is reason, not arson; sanity, not madness;   And war, I dare say, is the optimum in madness.  And war, I dare say, is the optimum in madness.

“If we must, let us pursue this claim in a spirit of conciliation, not wrath; let us seek a solution in friendship, not by force of arms.

“Let us not even think of taking up the implements of war, the tools of violence and killing, but labor instead for an honourable settlement at the conference table, in the council of nations, in the world court, or in whatever forum and wherever place it may be.

“But most importantly, let us together—the Malaysians and us—strive for a settlement that will give paramount value to the will of the people of Sabah themselves.”


Conclusion of “Sabah! A Game of Diversion” speech, 5 October 1968

A portrait of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. at the Tarlac Provincial Capitol.

A portrait of Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. at the Tarlac Provincial Capitol.