Former Senate Pres Pimentel to charter body : Sabah is OURS!

Former Senate Pres Pimentel to charter body : Sabah is OURS!

This will definitely open old wounds and probably new ones.

The issue regarding the ownership of Sabah is always a very “complicated” between neighboring countries Malaysia and the Philippines. In 2013 alone, 235 militants calling themselves as "Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo" gave rise to the Lahad Datu standoff. It was reported that it was Jaimal Kiram III, one of the claimants to the throne of the Sultanate of Sulu who gave the order to assert its territorial claim.

The conflict started February 11, 2013 and ended on March 24, 2013. All of this actions finds it root cause from the dormant territorial claim of the Philippines to Sabah.  *
Former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel (photo credit to ABS CBN)

In the ongoing discussions of the charter change consultative committee, former Senate President Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr. brought into the discussion the very complicated issue of  Sabah ownership to the body, and has called the attention of the Philippine government to start asserting its rightful claim over the very rich disputed territory.

The former Senate president gave an advice that the Philippines should "make sure not to unnecessarily antagonize our friend Malaysia," an ASEAN member and has been administering Sabah for decades.

Pimentel also reiterated that the country should only "use only methods recognized by the United Nations for settling disputes between and among sovereign nations," in front of the members of the committee formed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to draft a new federal constitution for the country.

"Sabah is ours although this issue of the ownership of Sabah is rather complicated," he said while discussing his proposed form of government in the event the country shifts to a federal type of government.

Historical records shows that the disputed island was given as a gift to the Sultanate of Sulu for helping the Sultan of Brunei in quashing the rebellion in the 17th century.

The Philippines maintains the position that the island rich territory was merely leased in 1878 between the Sultanate of Sulu and a British entity. *

Up to this day a regular payment of around P70,000 by Malaysia to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu. Malaysia considers it  “cession money.”

"The sooner we assert our ownership over Sabah, the better it will be for our people and our country," Pimentel said.

 Report from ABS CBN News

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