'Abandonement of claim to Sabah, gets Pres. Noynoy sued'

'Abandonement of claim to Sabah, gets Pres. Noynoy sued'

The Philippine territory in the disputed West Philippine Sea has been on the limelight for the past years, but it is not correct to say that it is the only territory we are having problems with.

We have almost forgotten that big chunk of rich land that is called “Sabah” in Malaysia.

An official of the Sultanate of Sulu said the Royal family is preparing to file suits against former President Benigno Aquino III for abandoning the country’s claim on Sabah that resulted in the bloody Lahad Datu standoff and eventually Malaysia’s refusal to honor the yearly lease agreement in favor to the Kiram family in the past five years.

Former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III (photo credit to owner)

Sultanate secretary general and spokesman Abraham Idjirani told Daily Tribune that they are now looking for a lawyer that can handle and file the cases against former President Aquino and top officials during his administration.

“Former President Aquino has the moral and legal obligation to pursue the claim because of an existing agreement signed in 1963 that the Sultanate has executed a special power of attorney to the government to pursue the claim,” Idjirani said.

Under the special power of attorney that will be given, the Philippine government will be authorized to initiate talks with Malaysia through the Department of Foreign Affairs.

They claim, instead of performing his sworn duty as president of the Philippines- that is to uphold the agreement, Aquino allegedly sided with Malaysia and he refused to lift a finger during the Lahad Datu standoff.

“We leave to our lawyers the building up and filing of cases in the courts,” Idjirani said.

Idjirani added that the Sultanate welcomed the announcement of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that he is willing to talk to Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

Revival of the claim

Idjirani clarifies that there is an existing agreement with the government, the Sultanate is leaving to President Rodrigo Duterte the decision whether to revive the claim before the United Nations (UN) which was planned earlier by the royal family. The Chief executive also promised to pursue the claim during his presidency.
Former Senate President Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. also reasserted the ownership of the Philippines over the disputed territory (Sabah) and urged the government to revive and pursue the claim before bodies authorized by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
“Sabah is ours by historic title,” Pimentel told the Daily Tribune.
Reward from Brunei
Sabah was the reward given to the Sultan of Sulu by the Sultan of Brunei for the former’s help against the enemies of the latter.
The Lahad Datu standoff, resulted to the deaths of over 100 Tausug “martyrs,” Malaysia then stopped paying the 5,000 Malaysian ringgit as annual lease of Sabah.
Malaysia then brokered the peace negotiation of then President Noynoy Aquino with the Moro Islamic Liberation (MILF) despite an existing agreement with the mainstream MNLF.
Pimentel, suggested that the Philippines claim be elevated to an international tribunal on arbitration of disputed territories.
“It’s better that the Philippines is the main claimant. There are UN tribunals duly authorized by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by which the claim may be settled,” Pimentel added.
Below is the Facebook full quoted post by Mr. Obed dela Cruz when he interviewed Princess Jacel Kiram re Sabah:

Sultan’s daughter, Princess Jacel Kiram, explains why Sabah is for FilipinosLooking back in our history and knowing more about our historical claims somewhere down in Mindanao. The Philippine concern on the West Philippine Sea has been in frequent talks for several years now. However, that region is not everything that the Philippines has a historical claim on for certain areas. We must not forget that somewhere in Mindanao, there was once a great sultanate in Sulu and their royal house, their lineage, can help us remember another region that the Philippines has a historical claim on: Sabah.This interview can help us get educated on the general ideas on why Sabah is historically owned by the Philippines and not by Malaysia. There are countries that have been teaching their children, through schools and forms of media, on the reasons why certain territories are theirs and why they have more rights in certain areas than other countries. In the Philippines, we hope that our government, schools, communities, and families would do a better job in educating our people on the territories that we have been claiming for decades now.It is a privilege that I was able to interview the Princess Jacel Kiram–daughter of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram III–who has clear direct blood ties with the former sultans of Sulu.Princess Jacel Kiram raised the following points:

1. Sabah is producing an income of $72B per year. If we are going to compute that, how much can it help to benefit the Filipino people?

2. Sabah is a property owned by the sultanate of Sulu. But because Sulu is officially part of the Philippines, a constitutionally republican-democratic country, then Sabah is also part of the Philippines.

3. The Philippine claim for Sabah goes back to the 1700’s. It was given to sultanate of Sulu by the sultanate of Brunei as a token of gratitude in helping to stop the rebellion in Brunei.

4. The sultanate of Sulu rented Sabah to British North Borneo Company. The agreement was it would pay 5,000 Mexican gold coins per year. However, when Malaysia was born in the 1960’s and the British turned over the authority to Malaysia for their country, Malaysia continued the rent. But, instead of paying through Mexican gold coins, they paid through the amount of 5,300 ringgit per year. Today, one ringgit costs less than P13. Imagine how low this is compared to the income caused by Sabah of $72B per year. This is why the sultanate of Sulu would rather cancel the rent, have the whole of Sabah be back under full operations of the Philippines, and help make the Filipinos benefit from it completely once again.

5. Actually, when the sultanate of Sulu made moves to get Sabah back in 2013, the Malaysian government already stopped paying their annual rent because they wanted to show that Sabah is indeed theirs so why do they pay rent? Still, it cannot be denied that they have been paying rent for decades now and it was only because they wanted to show they’re not “renting” it which is why they stopped paying even if there is a rental agreement.

6. In 2016, President Duterte had a clear stand on Sabah. He said that it is for the Filipinos. We are hoping that our government would successfully push for it, using a lot of political will to get Sabah back for Filipinos. President Duterte’s term has not ended yet, so we are still hopeful of moves done by the government on this.

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