President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Monday hinted of a possible increase in the compensation the heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu receive from Malaysia.
Speaking to reporters, Aquino said that increasing Malaysia’s continuing payment of lease for Sabah is one of four avenues being eyed by the Philippine government.
The Justice Secretary was advised to explore four potential avenues, unfortunately, he said, all three of them are non-starters.
The fourth is “the compensation that might be a position that has possibility—iyong increased compensation,” he added
President Aquino, on one hand, pointed out that specifics are still being studied.
“We are not ready to release that because it is being studied by a bigger body who will review the documents both the complete documents and incomplete wordings and phrases within all of these documents,” he added
Kiram and his family, as heirs to the sultanate, still receive annual compensation from Malaysia—the equivalent of about $1,700—but he had previously said this amount was way too low.
The sultanate leased northern Borneo to Europeans in the 1870s. While the sultanate’s authority gradually faded as Western colonial powers exerted their influence over the region, it continued to receive lease payments for Sabah. CATHERINE S. VALENTE