Malacañang said on Tuesday, Aug. 2, that the claim to Sabah of the Sultanate of Sulu descendants is “not an issue of sovereignty” as it is “in the nature of a private claim.”
Press Secretary Trixie Cruz-Angeles stated this after members of the Sultanate of Sulu expressed hope that the commitment of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to not surrender even a square inch of Philippine territory to foreigners would include Sabah.
“From what I understand, the case is in the nature of a private claim by the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu with Malaysia,” Angeles said.
“Therefore, it is not an issue of sovereignty or of territory at the moment,” she stressed.
A French court has ordered Malaysia to pay USD14.9 billion to the heirs of the Sulu Sultanate for breach of an international private lease agreement.
The Press Secretary further said that the President’s pronouncement on protecting the country’s territory against foreign powers still needs to be put in “writing and into specifics.”
“However, the President’s articulation of his statement about not giving up a square inch of territory will have to be reduced into writing and into specifics,” she said.
“After which, we will announce this to you if they are in any way related to the Sabah claim. At the moment, wala pa pong (There is no) articulation. So, we will have to wait,” she added.
During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), Marcos made a stance that the country will not lose even an inch of its territory under his watch.
“I will not preside over any process that will abandon even one square inch of territory of the Republic of the Philippines to any foreign power,” Marcos then said.