The United PasokMomogun KadazanDusunMurut Organisation (Upko), a member of Barisan Nasional (BN), ostensibly fears that Filipinos in Sabah, ever growing in their numbers, will soon demand a referendum on the state’s participation in the Federation of Malaysia.
The fear apparently stems from the longstanding Philippine claim to Sabah.
These Filipinos, illegal immigrants who obtained MyKads through the backdoor, have either overtaken local numbers or are on the verge of doing so, according to Upko deputy president Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing.
Bumburing wants the National Registration Department (NRD) in Putrajaya and the federal government to undo, as promised, their MyKad mischief in Sabah before the next general election.
He must be living in a dream world of his own making. There must be something in the water in Tuaran, Bumburing’s parliamentary seat, which gives one a permanent high.
He has himself said that these Filipinos in Sabah are already on the electoral rolls as Malays and are the “real BN fixed deposit” that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been bragging about.
Hence, his call to confiscate the MyKads from them is a sort of contradiction in terms.
In any case, Bumburing and his party should not fear any referendum on Malaysia conducted in Sabah. It will be a historical opportunity to bring closure on many issues bedevilling relations across the South China Sea. Let the weapon (MyKad) kill its wielder (Putrajaya), to paraphrase a Malay saying.
Any referendum will be undertaken by the United Nations based on Security Council Resolutions. The General Assembly may also debate on it.
A UN-held referendum will disallow the Filipinos from participating in it since they are not legitimate citizens of Sabah. If anything, the run-up to the UN referendum will expose the complicity of the NRD in Putrajaya and the federal government in scams to effectively disenfranchise the people of Sabah. This would merit some sort of UN action against Malaysia under the various international conventions against racism, genocide, xenophobia, ethnic-cleansing, marginalisation and the like.
A UN referendum must not be completely about the Sabah claim but must also take into account the fact that the Federation of Malaysia may have ceased to exist in 1965 with the departure of Singapore. This underlines the fact that the federal government has been in non-compliance on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.
The federation, discounting Singapore, was made of three territories – Sabah, Sarawak, and Malaya— based on equality and partnership. This is no longer so because Singapore’s exit saw the resurrection of the Malaya Federation of 1957 and the admission of Sabah and Sarawak as its 12th and 13th states. In short, the Borneo states became independent of Malaysia at the time of Singapore’s exit but were retained illegally in the Malaysia Federation, now masquerading as Malaysia. The definition of “federation” in the Federal Constitution is the 1957 definition and not that of 1963.
The Sabah claim complicates the referendum process.
Not many know that the claim excludes the interior of the state. The claimed area covers eastern Sabah, which was part of the Sulu sultanate, now part of the Philippines. It also covers the northern third of the state, which a victorious sultan in Brunei handed over to Sulu in return for the latter’s help in settling a palace dispute in the former’s favour. Sulu claims that eastern and northern Sabah were leased to the British North Borneo Company and sovereignty has since been transferred to the Philippine republic.
Sabahans will not accept a two-part referendum, that is, the interior to decide whether it wants to be independent or part of Malaysia, and the Sabah claim areas to decide between Malaysia, the Philippines and independence.
Keeping Sabah united would mean allowing the people of the state to decide whether they want independence or to be in either Malaysia or the Philippines.
Independence would of course be the best option for Sabah – as well as Sarawak. Both states can then finally enter into the federation envisaged with Brunei before Malaysia. The Federation of Malaysia was the result of Sabah’s rejection of the North Borneo Federation on the grounds that Sarawak was too poor and lacked economic potential.
The next best option for Sabah would be to become an autonomous part of the Philippines, which has the kind of human capital that can help the state enter the 21st century. The Philippine common market is also nearer to Sabah and bigger than Malaysia’s. The republic, furthermore, is also a rapidly developing country with enormous potential.
There is much in common between the native majority in Sabah and the majority of the people in the Philippines. The Malaysia Agreement proviso that Sabah would have no official religion would be honoured in a Sabah that is part of the Philippines.
In terms of security, Manila can be expected to return the illegal immigrants in Sabah back to the southern part of the Philippines if their labour is not needed. Those who stay back in Sabah will not be entitled to local documents. If they have such documents, they will have to surrender them to the local authorities.
Sabah as part of the Philippines may be an unthinkable idea now, but it is not at all impossible.
There is too much hype about Sabah being part of Malaysia. It is all propaganda. It is unthinkable that a native Christian from Sabah would ever become prime minister of Malaysia. But a Sabahan can become president of the Philippines if the state is part of that republic.
Malaysia has clearly failed in Sabah and Sarawak after 47 years. Both states have been reduced to abject poverty, poorer than any in the country. It is high time to put the past behind and move forward.
Again, independence would be the best option for Sabah, as for Sarawak. We only have to look at Singapore and Brunei. The former left Malaysia after two years and the latter stayed out at the 11th hour.
Look where they are now. Singapore’s economy, at US$210 billion GDP, will be bigger than Malaysia’s US$205 billion GDP this year.
Sabah and Sarawak would be able to do what Singapore and Brunei have been able to do on their own outside Malaysia.
If a choice must be made between Malaysia and the Philippines for practical reasons, the former is certainly no option for Sabah, with its poor record in the two Borneo states despite the passage of nearly half a century.
There is definitely a case here for the UN Security Council to step in. -FMT
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.
Sulu sultan asserts rights over Sabah
The Sultanate of Sulu on Saturday declared it would assert its property rights over Sabah (formerly North Borneo) regardless of the unresolved territorial dispute between the Philippines and Malaysia.
Sultan Esmail Dalus Kiram II said he had entered into an agreement with foreign companies to develop Sabah, especially its oil and gas, to press his proprietary rights.
In a speech at the Manila Pavilion Hotel in Manila, the sultan said, “I am getting old and the wait is too long and so I decided to sign a development contract with some legitimate foreign companies to develop our property.”He said he had sent copies of the contract to the Malaysian prime minister to inform him “that we mean to exercise our rights as stipulated by the British high court of Borneo (in 1939).”
Sabah was leased to the British North Borneo Co. in 1878 by the Sultanate of Sulu but it was made part of the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 after the British granted it independence.
The Philippines’ pending claim to Sabah is dormant at this time but Kuala Lumpur continues to pay yearly rent to the sultan.
The sultan’s son and royal commerce secretary, Abdula Kiram, explained that “we will exercise ownership regardless of which government owns [Sabah].”
He said they will not question the sovereignty issue because it is “complicated.”
The younger Kiram lamented the measly $1,000 Malaysia pays in annual rent for Sabah compared to the $10-12 billion annual income the territory generates for the Malaysian government.
In the same forum, the sultan said they will tap private security agencies to maintain law and order in Sulu.
He said, “The Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo (Sabah) has decided to tap quasi-government security and peacekeeping agencies to foil any attempt of terrorist and kidnap groups to use the sultanate regions in their continued kidnap for ransom activities.”
He added that the “lawless groups using the regions of Sulu in sowing terror send a negative signal to would-be investors in the region.”
FREE AND INDEPENDENT SABAH
"Our dearly beloved good people of Sabah and descendants of great and
brave Tausug warriors living in Sabah and to the members of the Sabah
Pro-Independence Movement who made representations and met our Royal
Cabinet Ministers earlier on! Assalamu Alaikum!
This is a special message of greetings and best wishes to the good
people of Sabah and to our Beloved Tausug descendants who are sons and
daughters of valiant, loyal and courageous Tausug warriors known
throughout history as defenders of the Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah, the
“Unconquered Kingdom”, who never yielded and never surrendered to the
invasion and conquest of Spain.
Sabah and Palawan were gifts by the Sultan of Brunei to the Sultan of
Sulu in 1658 when the Sultan of Sulu gave military assistance to quell
the rebellion on the island of Borneo by sending Panglima Illijji as
commander of the Tausug expeditionary force numbering over 2,500
battle-tested troops against the Spaniards.
Panglima Illijji (the great ancestor of Datu Prof. Dr. Hadji Nur P.
Misuari) and other Tausug warriors from Tapul and Parang, Sulu
performed their duties brilliantly that made Sabah and Palawan annexed
to the Sulu Crown and properties of the Sultanate of Sulu to this day.
In 1878, the royal father of our grandfather, HM Sultan Jamalul Ahlam
Kiram, rented Sabah to a British company with the provisions that it
could not be transferred to any person, company or nation without the
consent of the Sultan of Sulu.
The British took over Malaya and Sabah and continued to pay the rent
for Sabah to the Sultan of Sulu. The British left Malaya and Sabah in
1962 but instead of returning the Sabah property to the Sultan of
Sulu, it was illegally transferred to Malaysia without the consent of
the Sultan of Sulu.
MALAYSIA ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED SABAH SINCE 1963 TO THIS DAY. It was said
that a referendum was held for the people of Sabah to join Malaysia
but this referendum was unfair and unlawful because Malaysia did not
inform and did not give any opportunity to the owners of Sabah namely
the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu to present their side as
landowners of Sabah before and during the said referendum.
Therefore, this referendum, being unilateral and one-sided was
unlawful and null and void 'ab initio' and had no effect on the land
ownership of the Sultan of Sulu and the Sultanate of Sulu over Sabah.
Sabah is still the property of the Sultan and the Sultanate of Sulu to
We, His Majesty Sultan Muhammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I, as The Sultan of
Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah, Head of the Sultanate and Head of Islam in
the Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah, along with our Royal Family and our
Royal Cabinet, support A FREE AND INDEPENDENT SABAH under a
Parliamentary Monarchy whereby Members of Parliament are elected by
the people of Sabah provided, howsoever, that a free and independent
Sabah will be under our reign and our successors according to law of
succession as the King of Sabah.
In this proposal, the King of Sabah will reign and the Sabah
Parliament will rule and administer services beneficial to all the
people of Sabah.
This proposal will finally resolve the Sabah matter because The Sultan
of Sulu & The Sultan of Sabah, as lawful owner, has agreed with this
compromise solution that will be a win-win position to everyone
This also means that the resources of Sabah and its gross domestic
product, as well as the nearly 1 million barrels of oil pumped per day
in Sabah, amounting to USD30 Billion per year, will be utilized for
social and economic developments of the beloved people of Sabah. As
per energy report, Sabah contains over 70% of oil reserves of Malaysia
today but with this reality, Malaysia (a Muslim nation) dispossessed
their Muslim brothers and sisters of their Sabah property without just
compensation. This act of Malaysia is Un-Islamic and against the law
of Allah, and must be rejected by good peoples and the international
community of nations.
It is, however, necessary that Sabah assists in the much needed social
and economic developments of their underprivileged Muslim brothers and
sisters in the Sultanate of Sulu and of Mindanao.
We support this compromise solution together with our Royal Family,
our Royal Cabinet and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to
resolve the Sabah matter by peaceful means.
When the good people of Sabah ejected Malaysia out of Sabah, they will
be the masters of their own destiny and the masters of their resources
in Sabah worth over USD30 Billion per year, with said resources now
siphoned off to Kuala Lumpur with little amount left for social and
economic developments of the epople of Sabah.
We pray the good people of Sabah will act soon on this win-win
solution to resolve the Sabah matter by peaceful means. We support a
free and independent Sabah as proposed by the Sabah Pro-Independence
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
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.”
FAQs on the ICJ Decision.
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
heard in the case between Malaysia and Indonesia .
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
for disqualifying the Philippines from intervention.
The ICJ recognized that the Philippines sought to intervene as a non-party
and therefore does not require such jurisdictional link.
Above all, the ICJ accepted the hypothesis of the Philippines
that to establish interest of a legal native, such an interest does not
pertain to the operative decision of the ICJ but to the
method of reasoning in arriving at that decision.
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.
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.
HRM King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II extended his utmost thanks to the Malaysian
government for finally recognizing him as the real owner of the said territory.
“As we celebrate Christmas and New Year, I am happy to see my Raayat (people)
in Mindanao and Sulu just as I am happy in informing you the great news in
history. I love you all Muslims and Christians in Mindanao and Sulu, let’s love
one another,” 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.
HRM King Rodinood Jamalul Kiram II wishes everyone a “Happy Hariraya Eidil
Adha, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone. God bless us all,
Waba’duh wassalam,” said a press statement.
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.
As for Hongkong, it was turned over to China after the lease terminated in 1997.
The sultanate said that it was through the sincere and honest initiatives of all Hongkong government officials and all concerned citizens residing thereat in coordination with some super power nations that the turning over of Hongkong by the British government was facilitated and carried out successfully.
In the case of the lease agreement signed by and between Sultan Jamalul Ahlam
representing North Borneo, and Overbeck De Baron and Alfred Dent, representing Great
Britain, in Darul Jambangan, Maimbung, Lupah Sug (Sulu) on January 22, 1878, Great Britain should have had already turned over North Borneo to the rightful heirs of Sultan Jamalul
The sultanate reminds all Filipinos that the only recognized Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo as of now, are the legal sons of Sultan Mohammad Punjungan Kiram, by virtue of the letter of administration signed by British Judge Makaskie on October 11,1939 in Sandakan, North Borneo, which granted him an authority to administer North Borneo effective 1939 up to present.
The legal sons are Sultan Jamalul D. Kiram III, Sultan Esmail D. Kiram II and Data Raja Muda
Agbimuddin D. Kiram.
"Great Britain has ceded North Borneo to Malaysia in 1963 instead of turning it over to the heirs of Sultan Kiram, the 3 brothers... Considering the lease agreement signed by and between Sultan Jamalul Ahlam and Overbeck De Baron and Alfred Dent on January 22, 1878 at Darul Jambangan, Maimbung, Lupah Sug, until December 2008, it exceeds already 30 years and 11 months, from the 100 years duration of the leas agreement as sincerely and mutually agreed upon," said the sultanate document.
It said that the most valid reason behind as to why Malaysia delayed so much in turning over North Borneo to the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo, under the influence of Sultan Kiram, is because there has been no interested Filipino political leaders and business personalities throughout this country willing to help the three brothers Sultan Kiram in coordinating with super power nations and the United Nations in facilitating the immediate turnover of North Borneo by the Malaysian government.
" In one way or the other, so to speak, instead of covering all the Filipino political leaders, in an
atmosphere of love and affection towards our Sultanate of Sulu's vision to retrieve back North
Borneo from Malaysia, their individual feeling and interest went to nowhere , before and now.
However if God permits, in the nearest future politicking activities, most particularly, in Sulu
archipelago, Mindanao area and in North Bomeo-Sabah shall no longer exist," said the document.
"We firmly believe in the name of our Almighty God, that once our formerly owned ancestral domain, North Bomeo-Sabah shall be diplomatically retrieved or repossessed from Malaysia, the sooner the better, through the sincere and honest personal initiative of our very own beautiful. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in her strong coordination with world leaders and some super power nations, them and only them, Sulu archipelago, Mindanao and all other regions in this part of our country shall now attain total peace, tranquility and enjoy a prosperous and everlasting productive life in the way ahead, due to the total hidden assets of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo all over the world. To our beloved, Her Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, your seriously needed personal initiative, relative to the general status of Sabah Claim by Sultan Kiram is not only the best way, but it is the only way in making our Filipino nation great again!" the sultanate said.
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.
The Philippines would also have to get expert opinion to determine whether the Kalayaan island group or Spratlys "constitutes another archipelago.''
"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."