DFA denies giving up claim on Sabah

admin   •   March 30, 2015   •   3727

Map of British North Borneo. Highlighted in yellow is the area covered by the Philippine claim presented to the Court by the Philippines during the oral hearings at the ICJ on 25 June 2001 Source: Verbatim Records of the Oral Hearings at the ICJ 25 June 2001 (CR 2001/1, page 46 and Annexure of Maps)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs has clarified that it will not change its stand on its claim on Sabah.

This was after a report revealed that the DFA offered to downgrade its claim on the disputed island in exchange for Malaysia’s support to the Philippines’ case against China.

The report says DFA submitted a note verbale to the United Nations last week that contained its intention to review its 2009 protest against the joint submission made by Vietnam and Malaysia which says the latter has the right to the disputed island.

According to the report, which cited the note verbale as a source, DFA would review the 2009 protest depending on Malaysia’s response to two requests.

First is for Malaysia to confirm that its claim of an extended continental shelf is entirely from the mainland coast of Malaysia and not from the maritime features from the Spratly islands; second, is the confirmation that it does not claim entitlement of maritime areas beyond 12 nautical miles from any of the maritime feature in the Spratly island it claims.

The DFA does not deny considering reviewing the 2009 protest, saying the move is only to resolve issues on extended continental shelves.

DFA said this would help them in their case against China over territorial disputes.

ASec. Charles Jose said, “As contained in the note, we are trying to explore ways by which we could resove the issue on extended continental shelve. That’s the main point of the note.”

Furthermore he added, “It will help our arbitration case but this is not a ‘do-or-die’ thing.”

DFA also clarified that Sabah had not been included in the note verbale, and that the Philippines will never give up its claim on the said island.

“The note (verbale) is about features on the South China Sea and their implications on the extended continental shelf claims. Sabah is not in anyway, part of the note… and there’s no way that we are dropping our claim on Sabah,” DFA spokesman said.

DFA will also be conducting an investigation on how the note verbale had been leaked to the media.

“One thing we could say, it’s a disservice to the country if conclusions such as these are being irresponsibly made,” DFA Spokesperson ASec. Charles Jose declared. (DARLENE BASINGAN / UNTV News)

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No reports yet of Filipinos injured, killed in massive Beirut explosion

Marje Pelayo   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) through the Philippine Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon has confirmed that no Filipinos have been reported injured or killed so far in the massive explosion that happened on August 4.

The powerful explosion which occurred at the Port of Beirut resulted in several fatalities and dozens of injuries as well as widespread damage to properties throughout the city.

Lebanon’s health ministry said the death toll has risen to at least 50 while authorities are still investigating the cause of the blast. 

The Philippine Embassy calls on Filipinos in Beirut to reach out for assistance following the explosion. 

#PAKIUSAPTumawag lamang sa mga sumusunod na numero

Posted by Philippine Embassy in Lebanon on Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Duterte admin to pursue friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia despite Sabah dispute

Marje Pelayo   •   July 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Duterte administration will pursue the country’s friendly bilateral relations with Malaysia.

This was the response of Malacañang after Malaysia announced its intention to summon the Philippine’s ambassador in Malaysia over the controversial remarks of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin.

On July 27, Locsin posted in his tweet that “Sabah is not in Malaysia” in reaction to a post by the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hisshammudin Hussein countered Locsin saying his comment was ‘irresponsible’, whereafter he summoned the Philippine ambassador.

Locsin stressed that he is asserting the Philippines’ rights over Sabah just as the country is defending and asserting the rights of the Filipinos in the West Philippine Sea.

Locsin replied that he will also summon the Malaysian ambassador in Manila on the matter.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque meanwhile said that despite the unresolved territorial dispute on Sabah, the country will maintain friendly bilateral relations with its Southeast Asian neighbor.

READ: DFA denies giving up claim on Sabah

“This unresolved territorial dispute, as you correctly said has been dormant […] It has not affected our friendly bilateral relations and we will definitely maintain this friendly bilateral relations despite and in spite of this unresolved dispute,” he said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

DFA main building in Roxas Blvd. reopens July 30

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reopened its main building in Roxas Boulevard Pasay City on Thursday (30 July) following the Department’s review of public health and safety measures currently in place and the adoption of additional measures for the protection of its personnel.

For updates regarding services and announcements, the Department encourages the public to visit any of the DFA’s media platforms: DFA website, Facebook page or Twitter.

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