With the initiation of hostilities in Sabah, we are now faced with more questions.
But this much is clear to me -
We are now staring down a steep and rocky decline that leads to a deep and dark ravine.
If we are so reckless, if we are not yet wise, we shall find ourselves hurtling out of control with Malaysia, spiraling together down the gravity of war.
We can not go there without undoing much of the present good and therefore, willingly relinquishing from our own midst, much of the promise of our futures together (in and between our nations).
We must tread carefully.
Work hard to recognize the things that remain - that we truly have in common with Malaysia - as the desire to obtain from the Providence of God, a peaceful resolution - and resolve to hold on to these things harder and stronger now in the ensuing darkness and confusion.
Now, when I say we, I will now include all the Filipinos in Sabah especially those of and with the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo - for they are ours. If we leave them - or any one off, if we remain divided in the course, we only strengthen the spirit of war.
For we are not united for the sake of spreading the fires of this unwanted conflict, we are now uniting for the sake of extinguishing it - not by feeding our souls to fan the conflagration - but through a determined and expeditious return to the safety of the high grounds of peace.
For war will exhaust itself - all by itself - if it is not fed.
We have to resolve to turn away from the descendant darkness that is now working hard to engulf us - all of us with Malaysia - and find our way back up to the safety of the ascent where there is still light.
If you can feel the inter-play of this gravity and counter-gravity, of this light and darkness, in your spirit, then let it be known to thy own heart that it is a thing to guide us, God-helping -
Therefore, our most immediate goal at this present time in Sabah and one that we - at the level of the Republic - should coordinate in common with Malaysia must be a return to the status quo ante.
Status quo ante in Sabah!
Dear President Noy, I am convinced that that is the most immediate way out of this deepening crisis. It is to stop decisively and take a few determined steps back from the brink.
Once we are back there, God-helping - to the status quo ante - let us then work - together this time - to improve the situation - for all - aided by the retrospective advantage of a clearer vision - keeping in mind and heart what the sultan and his men was reported to have said "honor over lives".
For this is key.
We must understand them in their own term - not ours.
We must accept that fact that they can not come back home deprived of honor; that they must be able to come home clothed - at the very least - with what honor they have left our shores with - this is key.
We must choose our words wisely. And be truthful about it.
Do not remember the fallen with anger
the darkness they fell to overcome
can only be served by it.
Do not honor their hope with hatred
the victory they have died to realize
can not be won through it.
We can never now visit their memory
in places where they are not remembered
so get away from us now, you darkness
turn away from us now, o sadnesscome back to us now, o soul
return to us now, o heart
return us back to family
return us back to friendships
return us back to our homelands
return us back to our places of peace
and ever we shall remember
never again to forget.
Salaam. Shalom. Peace. God be with us all.