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Marcos says PH, Malaysian foreign affairs chiefs to discuss Sabah claim

Marcos says PH, Malaysian foreign affairs chiefs to discuss Sabah claim

The secretaries of the Philippines’ and Malaysia’s foreign affairs departments will discuss the issue of both countries’ territorial claim over Sabah, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said in his recent vlog. 

Following the official visit of Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim in the Philippines, Marcos said that the territorial dispute over Sabah should be talked through by the two Southeast Asian neighbors.

“Napag-usapan din namin ang isyu ng Sabah. Alam niyo naman mayroon tayong claim diyan sa Sabah na sinasabi natin na sa Pilipinas ‘yan. Ngayon, sila (Malaysia) ang administrator ng Sabah. Kaya sabi namin eh kailangan natin mapag-usapan nang masinsinan yan," he said.

(We also discussed the Sabah issue. We have a claim in Sabah and say that it is part of the Philippines. Malaysia is the current administrator of Sabah. That's why we said we need to discuss it thoroughly.)

“'Yung mga foreign affairs secretary namin ay mag-uusap tungkol diyan kung ano pa ang puwede nating gawin," he added.

(Our foreign affairs secretaries will talk about what else we can do about this matter.)

Located south of Mindanao, Sabah has long been the subject of a territorial dispute between the Philippines and Malaysia.

A Philippine claim for sovereignty over Sabah has lain dormant for decades, but Malaysia has paid a yearly rent to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu. However, this stopped in 2013 after an armed intrusion in Sabah by forces said to be linked to the Sulu sultanate to reclaim rights over Sabah.

Malaysia has maintained that Sabah has been recognized by the United Nations and the international community as part of Malaysia since the formation of the Malaysia Federation in 1963.

During Ibrahim's visit, Marcos cited Malaysia's "great contribution" to the peace process in Mindanao.

For his part, Ibrahim told Marcos that Malaysia would continue to offer assistance to the Bangsamoro people. —KG, GMA Integrated News