‘DFA misleading public’


No mention of Sabah but diplomatic note singles out North Borneo

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was misleading the public when it said Sabah was not part of a note verbale that the Philippine government sent recently to Malaysia, a trustee of the news group that broke the story said on Tuesday.

Veteran journalist Ellen T. Tordesillas, a trustee of the news group VERA Files, on Tuesday criticized the DFA for denying what was indicated in the diplomatic note and for labeling the VERA Files report as a “disservice” to the nation.

“Contrary to what DFA’s comment that putting out the story was a disservice to the country, VERA Files released the story in the interest of the public to help it fully understand the issues involved,” she said in a statement.

The Manila Times carried the VERA Files report as its banner story in its March 30 edition.

The report was based on the note verbale, which was purportedly handed over to Malaysia’s Defense Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein during his visit to Manila recently.

It claimed that, through the note verbale, the DFA has offered to downgrade its claim to Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support for its case against China before the United Nations–a simple case of quid pro quo (a favor for a favor).

“VERA Files is releasing the Philippine government’s August 2009 protest” to prove its point as it stood by its story.

Spokesman and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Charles Jose immediately denied the report, saying what the note included were only clarifications on Malaysia’s maritime claims to disputed territories in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).

“We were asking Malaysia to clarify two points with respect to their maritime claims in the South China Sea,” Jose told reporters.

He was referring to the Philippines’ request for Malaysia to confirm that its extended continental shelf (ECS) is entirely from the mainland coast of Malaysia, and that it does not claim entitlement to maritime areas beyond the 12 nautical miles from any maritime feature on the Spratly Islands.

“The note is about the features in the South China Sea and their implications on ECS claims,” Jose said.

He added that “Sabah is not in any way part of the note.”

VERA Files’ Tordesillas said the diplomatic note “singles out North Borneo or the old name of Sabah.”

“Note Verbale No. 15-1979 sent to Malaysia, the basis of VERA Files’ story, stated that it is reviewing the August 4, 2009 protest (No. 000819) it filed with the United Nations. The Philippines’ August 2009 protest, contained in two pages, singles out North Borneo or the old name of Sabah,” she added.

The Philippines took issue with an earlier joint submission by Indonesia and Malaysia for the extended continental shelf because it “lays claims [to]areas that are disputed not only because they overlap with [those]of the Philippines, but also because of the controversy arising from territorial claims [to]some of the islands in the area including North Borneo.”

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also on Tuesday, meanwhile, shrugged off reported talks between Malaysia and the Philippines for Manila to backpedal on its claim to Sabah in exchange for Kuala Lumpur’s support of Manila’s arbitration case against Beijing.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying, during her regular news conference, said they do not have information about the talks between Malaysia and the Philippines.

She maintained that China has a “clear position” on the West Philippine Sea issue, including the arbitration case initiated by the Philippines.

“We are willing to work together with relevant countries to properly resolve the disputes through dialogue and negotiation and safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea,” the spokesman said. With


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  1. Arnulfo Bartolome on

    The People’s Republic of China is already asserting their boundaries by constructing structures while our country is busy with Politicians with bad and destructive priorities. Let’s build our structured as well and get our equipment there backed by our American friends now.

  2. We all know by now about the current fate of our country under this administration. The next election is fast approaching and we must know by now what leaders we must put in place to at least have a true change and have a better Philippines. Let us not patronize the old and heirs of the current officials to assure us of a true change in government.

  3. Inded, there should be a need to review and to rectify our declared Phil heroes printed in our peso bills. There are now doubts about the aquinos as heros. Dapat walang kadudaduda na totoong hero sila tulad nila Rizal, Bonifacio, Mabini, Quezon.

  4. This government can no longer be trusted as the leaders have sold our sovereignty and land to the foreigners with coverup & lies fooling its own poor people. The traitors enriched themselves by protecting the foreigner interest and handing over our ancestorial land to them.

  5. No wonder all my Indonesian Muslim friends always warn me to beware of the Malaysian Muslims…

    Malaysia is really our enemy, being aided and abetted by the traitors like Pnoy, Del Rosario, Ferrer, Deles, Leonen, etc…

    OMG, the traitors are all over government and high places…WE ARE DOOMED!

  6. Good grief…the government is replete with TRAITORS….! TRAITORS! TRAITORS!

    The citizens must act now… and we must support the sultanate of Sulu…

  7. of course they will denied. Malacanang and his government were full of LIES….Trial and error system. Bunch of Idiot and, stupid is forever in malacanang…

  8. as always, the leaders of the PH is selling out, or surrendering the sovereignty of PH, EMBARASSING to be called a Filipino, where is ” Ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo” more likely ay “nasaan ang pera naming” kapalit i
    ng bansang Pilipinas, kasi, pag naibenta na nila ang Pilipinas, takbuhan na yan mga yan papunta sa ibat ibang bansa, kung saan nakatago ang nakurakot nila! Bwahahahaha!

  9. Malaysia has only 10 million people compared to us 100 million people. If we tolerate bullying from other countries they will abuse us. Our government should stand up against those. In the first place why we need Malaysia for peace talks? We are a sovereign country and we don’t need interference from other countries like Malaysia.

  10. i think it has something to do with the proposed peace pact with the rebels in mindanao or the BBL. we are all aware that once approved, a huge amount of seed money (billions) will be funded to favor the muslims. When the sabah was attempted taken back by Kirams, are there any aid or support from our government? JUST Asking….

  11. Malaysia is not our friend and i dont why they are even involve in the peace talk with the terrorist MILF.Are we dumb that we cannot solve our own problem,first is abolish autonomous region we are all Filipinos,disarm all armed by peaceful means or by force we have a strong military just need competent leaders and better eguipment will be augmented by the PNP and CAGFU.IT CAN BE DONE THEN WE ALL CAN LEAVE IN PEACE PERMANENTLY and PROGRESS WILL FOLLOW.Indonesia is our Malay Brother.Remember treason is punishable by death.

  12. OH MY GOD !!! The Filipino people are feed with lies. Traitors promoting peace !!! OUR COUNTRY IS IN PERIL. MAY GOD HELP US.

  13. Bert O. Romero on

    Where does Foreign Secretary del Rosario want to take the Philippines? To perdition? Not too long ago, his war-like rhetoric against China almost brought the Phillippines to war against the PROC. His warmongering stance was so aggressive that for a while everybody thought that suddenly the Philippines has acquired sufficient military capability to match the rhetoric. He must have forgotten that the Philippines is the weakest among the South China Sea claimants and that his war- lie posture had made the Philippines the laughing stock in the international community. Such more militarily robust country-claimants like Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan had counseled dialogue as a solution to this conflict. And now the DFA had unilaterally abandoned the Philippines’ proprietary claim against North Borneo or Sabah. Were the heirs of the Sultan of Sulo ever consulted on this move or was this del Rosario- inspired decision done behind the heirs’ back?

  14. vagoneto rieles on

    It is a stretch to imagine that the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu would reject government assistance on their rightful claim over their property in North Borneo; or, accede to the downgrading of such assistance. What then has possessed this administration to unilaterally arrogate onto itself the discretionary right to decide on the Sultan’s long-standing claim over his property? To presume to have the ability to calibrate its support to the claim.. much like regulating water from a faucet.. is like deciding whether and when to throw the Sultan’s heirs under the bus. Where does one get this kind of insensitivity and arrogance?

    On a parallel consideration, this decision of Malacanang dovetails nicely with its servile attitude and its supine posture where Malaysia is concerned