THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said the Philippines is not dropping its claim on Sabah despite a warning from Kuala Lumpur.
“There’s been a long-standing policy on Philippine claim to Sabah and it has not changed,” Charles Jose, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said in a press briefing.
Reports said the Philippines charge d’affaires in Kuala Lumpur, Medardo Macaraig, was summoned by Malaysia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs because of the remarks made by President Benigno Aquino 3rd during an interview with the South China Morning Post on May 15.
In the interview, Aquino said the Philippines is not dropping its claim on Sabah and hinted that Malaysia accepted such claims because it has been paying the Sultanate of Sulu a fee for the resource-rich island.
But Jose did not confirm that Macaraig was summoned by.
“Suffice it to say that we have a policy and it hasn’t changed,” he said.
He admitted though that Malaysia has “effective administration” of Sabah “and they’re enforcing their laws there,” making it legal for their police to arrest illegal Filipino immigrants.
“That’s the reality,” Jose said, but he maintained that the Philippines protested when Malaysia submitted its claim for an extended continental shelf that was based from Sabah’s coastline.