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Locsin: Gov’t should focus on pursuing Philippines’ claims on Sabah

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 02:50 PM April 20, 2019
Locsin: Gov't should focus on pursuing Philippines’ claims on Sabah

Philippines’ Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro Locsin Jr. (FILE Photo by Aris Oikonomou / AFP)

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. insisted that the Philippines should “keep an eye” on defending its claims on resource-rich Sabah, which became part of Malaysia in the 1960s.

“Save your prayers, we’re doing all that can be done—for now. And later on with firmer commitment from abroad more. Also keep your eye on Sabah. Some jerks are proposing we compromise our historical claim to it with diplomatic moves of implicit surrender,” Locsin said in a tweet on Black Saturday.

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This was after a netizen said he was disappointed over the diplomat’s remark on defending the country’s territory, saying Locsin viewed the Philippines’ territorial claims are like “food.”

READ: Locsin won’t go to war over giant clams, but says China must pay

However, Locsin clarified that the giant clams that the Chinese must pay for are what they harvested at the Scarborough Shoal.

In a report from ABS-CBN News, Chinese fishermen were reportedly poaching at Philippine territory and harvesting giant clams in Scarborough Shoal, which the Philippines defended as part of its jurisdiction.

The Foreign Affairs Secretary then said the “idiot opposition” equated Philippines territory to mere clams.

“Don’t be. You should love me. It is the idiot opposition that equates our territory (WPS is not territory but EEZ under current UNCLOS which can change) with clams and other eatables. Not me. I will not go down as “the clam and coral guy.” That I leave to them,” Locsin said in another tweet.

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Sabah was formerly yielded by the Kingdom of Brunei to the Sultanate of Sulu. However, Sabah’s residents voted to become part of Malaysia’s territory when it became an independent state from the influence of great Britain in 1963.

In 2013, supporters of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III went to Sabah from Tawi-Tawi islands and occupied Lahad Datu town to defend his clan’s ancestral claim to the eastern Malaysian territory. The move, however, erupted into an armed conflict with Malaysian forces.

After the standoff, around 56 militants, six civilians and 10 Malaysian forces were killed. Other militants were captured or returned back to the Philippines.

Nine Filipinos were sentenced to death by a Malaysian court following the attack in Lahad Datu. /jpv

RELATED STORIES:

Palace counters Mahathir: Philippines has claim over Sabah
Duterte set to pursue Sabah claim

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TAGS: DFA, Global News, local news, Locsin, Malaysia, Philippine news update, Sabah
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