A story of how Philippines lost Sabah to Malaysia as narrated by a former DFA official - The Daily Sentry

A story of how Philippines lost Sabah to Malaysia as narrated by a former DFA official

Late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. and a map of Sabah, photo compiled from Wikipedia and Expedition Borneo
Late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr. promised to surrender Sabah to Malaysia in 1983 in exchange for its support in his plan to oust then President Ferdinand Marcos, said a former foreign affairs official in 2013, thus the government is reluctant to push for its territorial claims.

The said narrative was by Hermes Dorado, and was reported by the Philippine Star on March 13, 2013..

The former national territory division head of the Department of Foreign Affairs, while at a forum in UP Diliman, said Aquino met with then Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Mahathir before he went back to the Philippines and was assassinated on Aug. 21, 1983.
Former DFA career officer, consul general Hermes Dorado, photo from Bulatlat
He said this is why the Philippines has lost all peaceful possibilities of claiming Sabah.

There are however, no official records of the said meeting, but Dorado said he learned of the incident from former ambassador and retired general Rafael Ileto, who he said indirectly confirmed the meeting to him.

"Our hands are tied today because the leadership up to this day is committed to drop the Philippine claim of Sabah," Dorado said, that time Aquino's son Noynoy was the sitting President.

Ileto was the person assigned to monitor Aquino's movement on his journey back to Manila, and claimed that the reason why the government is reluctant to push for its claims as of the moment is exactly that promise.

Dorado said that the 1987 Constitution is a proof this promise because it amended the first article of the 1973 Constitution and removed the phrase, and all other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title, revising the definition of the Philippine territory and deleting its historic claim in Sabah.

Dorado said Mrs. Aquino had no choice but to honor Ninoy's commitment to Mahathir because she needed support from ASEAN nations to legitimize her ascendancy to the presidency through the people power revolution.

The Malaysian Prime Minister allegedly refused to attend the ASEAN Summit unless Cory deleted that phrase from the Constitution.

Dorado said that Malaysian hard-ball diplomatic and guerrilla war maneuverings, backed by shrewd use of economic leverage, sourced from huge revenues from oil extracted in Sabah, were completed by 1987.

In addition to this, the Baselines Law was amended and approved in March 2009 where there is an exclusion of Sabah from the Philippine territory.

It removed Section 2 of the 1968 law that included the phrase, "the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty".

Thus, the country has lost all chances of claiming Sabah peacefully.

Source: philstar.com