Sotto backs Locsin over PH Sabah claim

Published July 30, 2020, 12:16 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senate President Tito Sotto on Thursday backed Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. in insisting the Philippines’ claim over Sabah.

Sen. Vicente Sotto III (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Sotto backed Locsin after the Malaysian foreign ministry said that it will summon the Philippines’ ambassador to explain on Locsin’s “irresponsible statement” that Sabah is not part of Malaysia.

“As far as I know, even until recently, the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu had been receiving rental payments for the occupancy of Sabah. Sulu is (part of the Philippines)! (The) DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) has details,” Sotto said in his Twitter post.

The Philippines’ top diplomat reacted on Monday to a social media announcement of the United States Embassy in Manila about its donations of hygiene kits to Filipino repatriates from Sabah, Malaysia.

“Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines,” he said in reply to the US Embassy’s post. “You better edit that announcement if you know what’s good for you,” he added.

Locsin, on Thursday, stood by his statement and said it was “historically factual.”

The Philippines has a long-standing claim over Sabah. In March last year, President Duterte reiterated his position that he would pursue the Philippines’ claim to Sabah.

Read more: Locsin to summon Malaysian envoy to PH over Sabah issue