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Below is the Opinion of Senator Kiko Pangilinan about the Philippine claim over Sabah. (by Marvin Nuevo)
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Base sa ating baseline law na naging batas kamakailan lamang kinikilala pa rin ng gobyerno ang ating historical claim sa Sabah. Ang batas ay alinsunod sa probisyon ng TERRITORY sa ating Saligang Batas na kung saan nakasaad na sakop ng teritoryo ng Pilipinas ang mga lupain na atin base sa historical claim. Ang historical claim na ito ay ang historical claim ng mga descendants ng Sultan of Sulu sa Borneo/Sabah.
Official Press Release of the Department of Foreign Affairs, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES-International Court Denies Philippine Intervention, But Assures RP on Sabah
International Court Denies Philippine Intervention, But Assures RP on Sabah
When Indonesia and Malaysia brought their territorial dispute over Sipadan and Ligatan islands to the International Court of Justice in 1988, Philippine officials were concerned about the implications of that dispute on the Philippine Sabah claim. It was suspected that the Philippine sovereignty to claim Sabah could be prejudiced by the arguments and submissions that would be made by Malaysia and Indonesia to the Court. Ligatan and Sipadan, made famous early last year with the notorious kidnappings of western tourist by the Abu Sayyaf, lie close to the Federal State of North Borneo. Philippine officials through Malaysia may take advantage of its legal dispute to consolidate its hold on Sabah. The fear was an argument from Malaysia which would establish its ownership of Sipadan and Ligatan on the basis of its sovereignty over Sabah.
To protect its interest in Sabah, the Philippine government in March this year, went to the International Court to seek permission to intervene in the on-going dispute between Indonesia and Malaysia. The Philippine legal team, headed by DFA Undersecretary, Merlin M. Magallona, argued the Philippine position last June in the International Court in The Hague.
In its decision dated 23 October 2001, the International Court found that the Philippine claim to Sabah will not be affected by the on-going case between Malaysia and Indonesia. The Court, therefore, declined to grant the Philippine request to intervene.
The International Court, in a landmark decision, explained that the Philippines has a heavy burden of proving the connection between its claim to Sabah, on the one hand, and the competing claims of Indonesia and Malaysia on Sipadan and Ligatan, on the other. And because the Philippines was not given copies of the Malaysian and Indonesian pleadings in the principal case, this burden of proof was even more difficult to discharge. The Court ruled that it was not convinced that the Philippine fear about a possible prejudice to its territorial interest in North Borneo was well established. Citing various international agreements that the Philippines had earlier identified to support its Sabah claim, the Court said that not one of these said agreements, including the famous 1878 lease of Sabah granted by the Sultan of Sulu, was relied upon by Malaysia and Indonesia in their respective arguments to support their competing territorial claims to Sipadan and Ligatan. In answering the major issue posed to the Court, the decision concluded that the Philippine claim to sovereignty in North Borneo “could not be affected by the Court’s reasoning or interpretation of treaties in the case concerning Pulau Ligatan and Pulau Sipadan”. In addition, the Court assured everyone concerned that it “remains cognizant of the positions stated before it by Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines”.
Commenting on the decision, Undersecretary Magallona of the DFA, expressed his relief on the Court’s assurance that the Philippine Claim to Sabah will not be affected in any way by the decision of the Court in the main dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia. “Our main objective was to protect the integrity of our historic title to Sabah. We have achieved that objective even if we were not allowed to intervene. So inspite of appearances, the decision of the International Court is really good news for us.”
Undersecretary Magallona also noted that the heavy burden of proof imposed on the Philippines in order to allow it to intervene established a new rule of international law. “No one knew about the level of proof that was expected to be demonstrated by the Philippines. Not Indonesia. Not Malaysia. Not any country. We believe that establishing a “prima facie” case was sufficient. There was no previously established rule that could have given us guidance on the level of argument and proof needed. But then the Court invoked a new standard that it applied to us ex post facto. This is usually how international jurisprudence develops.”Undersecretary Magallona also congratulated the Philippine legal team on a job well done. “Each one of the arguments made by the Philippines, and specifically opposed or objected to by Malaysia and Indonesia, was upheld by the Court in our favor. Our arguments on matters of procedure or substance were upheld because they were superior to the counter-arguments of Malaysia and Indonesia. On the critical issue of burden of proof, neither Malaysia nor Indonesia, nor even the Philippines, had any idea about that issue. There were no arguments or counter-arguments on that point.” He concluded, “While we lost the battle, our case has led to a much needed clarification of rules of intervention in the international court, and in that sense we have helped advance the cause of the international rule of law. As a bonus, we have put on record a territorial claim to North Borneo, and the Court has assured us that it will not do anything that will prejudice this historic claim.”
1. What is the nature of the case ?
It is a request for intervention on the part of the Philippines in the case between Malaysia and Indonesia regarding sovereignty over the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan. The Philippines requested to intervene in this case under Article 62 of the statute of the International Court of Justice because it is of the view that the decision of the ICJ in that case or its reasoning involved in that decision will adversely affect the legal interest of the Philippines as regards the interpretation and application of certain treaties and agreements which it relies on in its claim over Sabah.
2. Since the ICJ’s decision does not allow the Philippines to intervene, how does this decision affect the Pi claim over Sabah?
The ICJ decision does not affect in any way the merits
of the Philippine claim to Sabah. The Philippines requested intervention
in the case as a non-party. In other words, the Philippines, in seeking
to intervene, did not intend to become a party to the case: between Malaysia
and ndonesia. Its purpose is a limited one, namely, to have the opportunity
to explain and show to the ICJ that its claim to Sabah may be adversely
affected by the Court's decision or by its reasoning in arriving at that
decision if the Philippines would not be given the opportunity to be
3. Did the ICJ accept same points presented by the Philippines in the oral arguments?
Yes. As against the arguments advanced by Malaysia and Indonesia, the ICJ ruled:
(1) That the Philippine application to intervene still was filed on time;
(2) That despite the fact that the Philippine application did not contain a full list of documents in support of its claim, still the ICJ concluded that this did not constitute a formal defect; and.
(3) That the absence of jurisdictional link between the
Philippines and the Parties to the main case (Malaysia and Indonesia) is
not a ground
Above all, the ICJ accepted the hypothesis of the Philippines
that to establish interest of a legal native, such an interest does not
4. On what ground did the ICJ disallow the intervention by the Philippines?
On the ground that failed to show with “sufficient clarity” or “particular clarity” in what way will the interest of legal nature on the part of the Philippines would be affected by the decision and reasoning of the ICJ as regards the treaties and other agreements which the Philippines relies on in its claim to Sabah.
We are critical of this reasoning because it implies that the Court, knowing that the parties (Malaysia and Indonesia) refused to give the Philippines copies of their pleadings, would now require the Philippines to show in advance the full basis of their claims in terms of applicable treaties and agreements.
The Philippines is of the position that this requirement of the Court could have been met by the Philippines in the principal case had it been allowed to intervene and therefore would have had the benefit of the pleadings of Malaysia and Indonesia.
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Malaysia recognizes King Rodinood Kiram as right owner of Sabah
The Malaysian government has finally recognized the leadership of His Royal Majesty (HRM) King Hji. Rodinood King Hji. Julaspi King Hji. Jamalul Kiram II as the legitimate owner of Mindanao, Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah).
“I am very much thankful to the
government of Malaysia for handling back Sabah to us — our long lost ancestral
homeland,” said King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II.
The king has also expressed his warm greetings to his subjects in Mindanao,
Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) to both Muslims and Christians and those of other
religions for a blessed Hariraya Eidil Adha, a solemn Christmas and a
prosperous New Year to all, wishing everyone to be safe, healthy and happy.
For more information about the sultanate program, you may watch Sky Cable
Channel 50 daily from 11:00 am-1:00 pm.
The Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo has renewed its claim of Sabah and has sought the support of the government and the Filipino people for it to succeed with the claim.
In a document circulated by the sultanate signed by Noel A. Rizalde (deputy chief, RSF, Zamboanga Peninsula, Christian Sector) and Salih M. Hasan (deputy Secretary General, Muslim Sector), it compared Sabah to Hongkong, both were leased to Great Britain in 1978 and1897 respectively.
June 19th, 2008 by Juan Guerra | Posted in Fatherland |
We have heard the talk in the past about the territory of Sabah, jointly held by Indonesia and Malaysia, and that past governments have desired to bring it into the fold of our beloved Fatherland. However due to the incessant bickering of our political parties no move to reclaim our territory has ever been made, instead idle posturing and saber rattling is all that resulted.
The Samahan will instead pursue a rigorous policy of expansion into the territory of Sabah, not only that our government shall reclaim it, but that it will also be repopulated by Pilipino (Filipino) nationalists. It is intrinsic that once we hold Sabah we must displace the squatter population there and repatriate the entire area with our people in order to hold our claim.
Now many ask does this mean war? Of course not, we are a civilized nation and an intellectual party, which means that though we prepare for the terrible chance of war, in actual fact we wish only for peaceful negotiations. We will work with the Indonesian and Malaysian governments and work out trade deals or financial restitution in return for the land. Yes we know that this land was ours, that we should simply take it by force and damn the consequences. But this makes not only for bad foreign policy but also senseless death of countless Pilipino (Filipino) citizens.
Some claim that because we desire a strong military and that we will fight for the rights of our people that this means our first action will always be war. No my friends peaceful negotiation must always be the first course of action when working with other nations. The fact that Sabah was ours will lend heavy weight to all our negotiations both regionally and internationally, and that will make it easier for us when we work with our allies to come to a final resolution regarding our national sovereignty.
But to what end is the reclaiming of Sabah going to further the Fatherland and our people? Land my friends, it is about living space and breathing room for our national community, land that we need to house and feed our ever-growing population. Instead of facing a nation that will be over crowded and starved for food, with the inclusion of Sabah we will have vast new territories to spread out in and to farm and feed the Fatherland.
With Sabah we will have a drive to the frontiers, land for those without their own, those that live in Manila, the so called “squatters”, will be allowed to travel to Sabah and claim land for free as their own from which they can farm and not only feed their families but help feed the nation. This will relieve much of the pressure on Manila and the resources that the city has at their disposal. The poor will be given a chance to create strong and better lives, with aid from our government and a new series of developmental banks that will provide training and funding to build massive tracks of agricultural lands.
OF course we must take precautions ahead of time to protect from slash and burn policies that the Malays and Indonesians have practiced for years. Killing of the natural world, wiping out animals and plant life that may one day yield beneficial harvests in the medical world. Even the pollution from these slash and burn policies have affected the health and well being of our people in the Philippines, the smoke and carcinogens have made their way to our cities causing worse health risks to our nation then were already there.
No for us the inclusion of Sabah is not only going to be a massive economic boon to all our people, to our agricultural industry, but it will also be a huge boost to our national morale helping to spur on the national economy and bringing the standard of living up for our entire nation. Sabah belongs to us; we must take it back as our historical and divine right. The land belongs to us and it is unjust in the best of light that it continues to be used by foreign governments that wrongfully took away our sovereign rights. We will accept nothing short of repatriation to the Fatherland, though we will work with these nations peacefully to achieve such goals.
Brothers the time has come to watch our nation expand well beyond its borders, to what once was the Philippines of the past. Before cowardly imperialists gave away that which was not theirs to begin with to pay of other foreign governments. It is time that these nations made right the wrongs from the past, to pay back what they have taken from us, and it is time for the rest of the world to recognize the sovereign rights of the Fatherland.
LAHI AT AMANGBAYAN
Juan “Maso” Guerra
|By Gil C. Cabacungan Jr.|
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 23:01:00 03/25/2008
MANILA, Philippines -- Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago cautioned her peers on Tuesday against tinkering with the country's territorial limits with a new baseline bill declaring the Philippines as an archipelagic state because it would reduce, not expand, the country’s territory and would require a change in the Constitution.
In a statement, Santiago said the Philippines would be entitled to only 12 nautical miles of the territorial sea under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).
“If the Philippines declares itself an archipelagic state, our zone of sovereignty would collapse. Our internal waters would become archipelagic waters where the ships of all states will enjoy the right of innocent passage,” she said.
“In addition, foreign states would have the right of so-called archipelagic sea lane passage. Ships of all states would have the right of passage and their aircraft would have the right of over flight. This is an almost colossal reduction from the wider boundaries of the International Treaty Limits under the Treaty of Paris,” said Santiago.
Santiago, chair of the Senate foreign affairs committee, said that the Constitution already defined the national territory comprising the Philippine archipelago and all other territories over which the Philippines asserted sovereignty or jurisdiction.
"The Constitution does not describe the Philippines as an archipelagic state, which is a term of art used by the UN Convention. If the Philippines declares itself an archipelagic state, the declaration would contradict the Treaty of Paris which sets out the boundaries of our national territory, which are wider than those allowed by the Unclos,'' said Santiago.
As an archipelagic state, Santiago said the Philippines would have less enforcement jurisdiction on foreign vessels not only in matters of security but also marine pollution.
Santiago cited the 1898 Treaty of Paris, where Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, as the basis for the present Philippine Baseline Law while "the bills pending in Congress will eliminate such limits and thus, the Philippines would lose its boundaries.''
Santiago said that the present bills seeking to extend the archipelagic baselines so as to include Scarborough Shoal would not be advisable, because it would revise the Treaty of Paris.
"Under Unclos, an archipelagic state can be composed of two archipelagos. If not, under international law, Kalayaan could be characterized as ‘other islands’ over which the Philippines is entitled to claim sovereignty,” she said. “International law does not recognize the drawing of archipelagic baselines as a method of claiming territorial sovereignty.”
Instead of exerting the country's claim over Spratlys through a baseline bill, Santiago proposed that the government make an "effective occupation'' of the disputed islands.
“The Philippines has already exercised many political and administrative acts of a sovereign nature over Scarborough Shoal. Such acts include military exercises, establishment of lighthouse, enforcement of laws against foreign vessels and nationals, which are evidenced by historical data,” the senator said.
Santiago is also worried of the impact of the baseline bills on the country's claim over Sabah and warned against the wording of the pending bills concerning Sabah.
"If the pending bills abolish Sec. 2 of Republic Act No. 5446 which provides that the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty over Sabah, North Borneo and hence, the baselines of the territorial sea include baselines of the territorial sea around Sabah, the effect is to remove from Philippine law the affirmation of sovereignty over Sabah," she said.
Santiago noted that in 2001, with Dean Merlin Magallona arguing for the Philippines, the International Court of Justice relied on Philippine law in referring to the dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia over Pulau Ligitan and Pulau Sipadan.
"The ICJ ruled that the Philippines will not in any way be affected by its decision on the merits in the case between Malaysia and Indonesia,'' said Santiago.
This is the reason, Santiago said, that a congressional commission on national territory should be established because the present bills “do not fully appreciate the magnitude and depth of the country’s territorial problems."