Philippines standing by its claim to Sabah – DFA
THE Department of Foreign Affairs said Tuesday that the Philippines would stick to its claim over Sabah, following the report that its diplomat in Malaysia was summoned by the Malaysian government over the remarks of President Aquino on the territorial dispute.
“There has been a long-standing Philippine policy on our claim to Sabah and this has not changed,” Assistant Secretary Charles Jose, spokesperson for the DFA said in a news briefing.
Jose was mum on the details of the report that Philippine Charge d’Affaires Medardo Macaraig was summoned by the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 19 over the remarks made by Aquino.
“We will no longer answer questions about that,” Jose said.
According to Singapore-based Channel News Asia, the Malaysian foreign ministry was citing the remarks of President Aquino in his interview with journalist Raissa Robles for the South China Morning Post as the reason for the summon.
In the interview, Aquino said he would not drop the Philippines’ claim to Sabah.
The issue on Sabah resurfaced in public discourse after a note verbale of the DFA handed to the Malaysian embassy indicated that the DFA was offering to drop the Philippines’ claim over Sabah in exchange for its support against China in the maritime disputes in the South China Sea. The note verbale had leaked to the media group, Vera Files.
The DFA has since maintained that it will not drop the Sabah claim. SFM/ABC
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