Locsin stands by Sabah tweet after Malaysia summons PH envoy | Global News
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'historically factual' claim

Locsin stands by Sabah tweet after Malaysia summons PH envoy

/ 09:02 AM July 30, 2020

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MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. insisted that his recent remark about Sabah not being part of Malaysia was “historically factual” as he lamented the latter’s move to summon the Philippine ambassador in the Southeast Asian country over it.

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In a tweet on Thursday, Locsin said he was just asserting the Philippines’ claim in the territory similar to what he said is being done with the West Philippine Sea.

“You summoned our ambassador for a historically factual statement I made: that Malaysia tried to derail the Arbitral Award,” Locsin said in a reply to an earlier tweet by Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein.

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“He was already summoned. It was about to happen. They are always trying to sneak in an attempt to implicitly abandon our claim. But I warned our diplomats. Never,” the Philippine foreign affairs chief said in a separate tweet.

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Hishammuddin earlier said he would summon Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose to explain Locsin’s tweet which said that “Sabah is not in Malaysia.”

Still, Locsin stood by his remark, which his Malaysian counterpart has branded as “irresponsible” and “affects bilateral ties.”

“We have and continue to assert our rights in the Spratlys/WPS [West Philippine Sea]. I am doing that with regard to Sabah,” Locsin said.

“There have been repeated attempts to sell that claim but no Philippine president has succumbed,” he added.

The Philippines has a long-standing claim over the northern part of Borneo – since the term of President Diosdado Macapagal.

The claim stems from assertions that the Sultanate of Sulu rightfully owns the northern part of Sabah, as several historians believe the former Sultan of Sulu was gifted with the land in exchange for helping the Sultan of Brunei defeat his adversaries.

Malaysia, however, insists that the land, then occupied by the British empire, was rightfully ceded to them as Spain transferred part of the property of the Sultanate of Sulu to the British under the Madrid Protocol in the 1880s.

Currently, Malaysia has control over the said portion of the land.

Recently, Malacañang insisted that the Philippines had a claim on the resource-rich region despite Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad saying that the Philippines had no claim in the area.

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TAGS: Features, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Global Nation, Malaysia, Sabah
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