P-14). (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); (1) If the Senator believes that the claim of sovereignty was so “tardily presented”, how could the proprietary claim of dominion or ownership — which is the main element of sovereignty — regardless of whether it is the Philippine Government or not that institutes the claim — be considered still seasonable and appropriate? [citation needed], Republic Act 5446 in the Philippines, which took effect on 18 September 1968, regards Sabah as a territory "over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty". In the aftermath of the February Revolution (22-25 February 1986), which ousted the Marcos regime, the Aquino-Laurel administration declared its intent to resolve "frontally" the issue of the Sabah claim ISBN 978-0-379-00781-7. The distinguished Senator makes a most interesting suggestion. But I believe that on such a fundamental question as this, it may be well for us to remember that political considerations, bitterness and endless quibbling should stop at the water’s edge and that the claim to North Borneo is not the claim of the President, nor of the Liberal Party, nor of his Administration, but a claim of the entire Republic, based on respect for the rule of law, the sanctity of contractual obligations, the sacredness of facts and the relentless logic of our situation in this part of the world. He has chosen to assault the Philippine position at a time when his own Government, by virtue of the British request, may be said to be somewhat helpless in making, right in our own country, an adequate, fully-documented defense of the Philippine stand. And yet until we filed our claim to North Borneo and talks were conducted thereafter in London culminating in an official cognizance of our claim, there was no attempt at all to consult with us on matters that affect the very survival and security of this country. From the foregoing facts and considerations, I submit to the Senate and to our people the following conclusions: (1) If the administration of President Macapagal seriously believes that the Philippine claim of sovereignty to a portion of North Borneo should be prosecuted to the bitter end, it must be prepared to establish the identity of that portion whether the case is brought before the International Court of Justice or before the United Nations. A professor in an Australian University, writing in the India Quarterly, makes a thorough analysis of the Malaysia Plan and sees great difficulties ahead. And were we to follow the logic of the good Senator, we might conclude that America, Britain, France, the Netherlands and other countries have no more prestige and honor to keep since they have, as a matter of cold fact, lost quite a number of cases before international bodies and tribunals. Like the isolationists of old, Senator Sumulong asks us: What is the gain of involving ourselves in North Borneo, if after all, even if we recover it, we are committed to the idea of letting the North Borneans determine what their eventual fate would be? [4], On 22 January 1878, the Sultanate of Sulu and a British commercial syndicate made up of Alfred Dent and Baron von Overbeck signed an agreement, which, depending on the translation used, stipulated that North Borneo was either ceded or leased to the British syndicate in return for a payment of 5,000 Malayan dollars per year.[7][8]. Unlike in Singapore, however, no referendum was ever conducted in North Borneo and Sarawak.[56]. (3) But what arouses my curiosity is the bald statement of the Senator that he is and has always been in favor of supporting the proprietary claims of the “heirs of the Sultan of Sulu.” Well, that must have been quite a long time! The North Borneo dispute, also known as the Sabah dispute, is the territorial dispute between Malaysia and the Philippines over much of the eastern part of the state of Sabah. UPI. [49], A bill to repeal Republic Act 5446 was filed by Leticia Ramos Shahani in the Philippine Senate in 1987. [25] The Sultan declared beyond discussion the sovereignty of Spain over all the Archipelago of Sulu and the dependencies thereof. (British North Borneo, 1903)", "CONFIRMATION by Sultan of Sulu of Cession of Certain Islands", "Malaysia's territorial disputes – two cases at the ICJ : Batu Puteh, Middle Rocks and South Ledge (Malaysia/Singapore), Ligitan and Sipadan [and the Sabah claim] (Malaysia/Indonesia/Philippines)", "The North Borneo Cession Order in Council 1946", "Cession and transfer of the territory of North Borneo by His Highness, Sultan Mohammad Esmail Kiram, Sultan of Sulu, acting with the consent and approval of the Ruma Bechara, in council assembled, to the Republic of the Philippines", "Treaties and international agreements registered or filed and recorded with the Secretariat of the United Nations", "Sabah – the question that won't go away", "An Act to Amend Section One of Republic Act Numbered Thirty Hundred and forty-six, Entitled "An Act to Define the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the Philippines" [Approved: 18 September 1968]", "President Ferdinand Marcos said today he had proposed talks...", "KL may now agree to talk, shall we go for it? 27-29). The case for Philippine ownership of Sabah relates to the Sulu Sultanate, a thalassocracy established in 1405. [9], The keyword in the agreement is the ambiguous term pajakan, a Malay term which was translated by Spanish linguists in 1878 and by American anthropologists H. Otley Beyer and Harold Conklin in 1946 as "arrendamiento" or "lease". [81] Shafie added that Sabah is a "sovereign state" and this has been settled a long time ago where the residents of Sabah had been assured by the Malaysian federal government of "full security and protection" when it formed the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 and as such the federal government of Malaysia could not afford to be soft regarding the matter. The Philippines is here in Southeast Asia to stay; Britain, saddled with various commitments, probably desires to play a lesser role in Southeast Asia and make a graceful exit; Malaya, a distant stranger to the region, desires a virtual annexation of the Bornean territories to sterilize and quarantine Singapore, the “key base”, which is predominantly Chinese and, whose loyalties are not beneath suspicion. of North Borneo and of Sarawak] strongly favours early realisation of Malaysia without too much concern over terms and conditions. It was rented to Brunei and British a long time ago. Will there be a common economic program? But its claim to Sabah, transferred constitutionally to the Philippine Republic, is legitimate. From this it appears that the territory claimed and ceded by the Sultan of Sulu on January 12, 1878 was likewise claimed and had been previously ceded by the Sultan of Brunei on December 29,1877 and that Overbeck and Dent evaluated the rights acquired from the Sultan of Brunei to be three times greater than the rights acquired from the Sultan of Sulu, the yearly payment to the former being Malayan $ 15,000 and to the latter Malayan $ 5,000. A look at the map of North Borneo will show that Gaya Bay is farther to the west than Pandassan River. [46] To date, Malaysia maintains that the Sabah claim is a non-issue and non-negotiable, thereby rejecting any calls from the Philippines to resolve the matter in ICJ. I want to make clear that I am always subject to correction. The Philippines has a historical claim to Sabah based on the ownership of the Sultan of Sulu over what used to be North Borneo, but has archived the issue for the past several decades. I for one believe in all sincerity that under the present circumstances, the better course to follow is for our government to inform the United Nations in due time, i.e., when the Federation of Malaysia plan is submitted for consideration in the United Nations that we are voluntarily relinquishing whatever claim of sovereignty we may have to any portion of North Borneo in order to accelerate the changing of its status from a non-self governing territory to that of a self-governing or independent state and that we favor holding a plebiscite under United Nations auspices to give the people of North Borneo the opportunity to freely express their will and wishes as to whether they want to join the Federation of Malaysia or the Greater Malayan Confederation or exist as a separate independent state. I trust our British friends, here and across the seas, will understand if, in defense of our position, we come pretty close to the area of danger. “The Sultan (of Brunei), in three grants of territory from Gaya Bay on the west coast to the Sibuco River on the east; and the Pengeran Tumongong (heir to the Sultan of Brunei) in a grant of his west coast possessions, the rivers Kimanis and Benowi, ceded to Overbeck and Dent, with all the powers of sovereignty, some 28,000 square miles of territory, embracing 900 miles of North Bornean coastline, for a total yearly payment of Malayan $ 5,000.” (op.cit. Because of the success of the Federation of Malaya under the leadership of Abdul Rahman and with the British military and economic aid to fight communist infiltration and subversion, it is also expected that the enlarged Federation of Malaysia under the same leadership of Abdul Rahman and with continued British military and economic aid will be able to meet and overcome any communist attempt to capture Singapore, Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo through infiltration and subversive activities. Don't miss out on the latest news and information. In this connection, it is worthy of note that judging from press reports of Filipino newspapermen who had gone to North Borneo, the popular reaction there to our claim of sovereignty is one of surprise and resentment rather than sympathy and support. [6], As attested to by the International Court of Justice, the Sultan of Sulu relinquished the sovereign rights over all his possessions in favour of Spain, based on the "Bases of Peace and Capitulation" signed by the Sultan of Sulu and the crown of Spain in Jolo on 22 July 1878. In fine, the Senator would have the Republic launch a program of defeat — born of fear and doubt and timidity. We leave it to our readers to judge the merits of the case as presented by the senators 50 years ago. The case was decided based on Malaysia's effectivités (evidence of possession and use by a particular state that is effective to claim title) on the two islands as both Indonesia and Malaysia did not possess treaty-based titles on Ligitan and Sipadan. Their own racial problems are much simpler and their economic prosperity does not require any political integration with Malaya. We would appear as having attempted to colonize a portion of North Borneo without any lawful or just cause, forgetting our colonialism and our loud demands for accelerating the grant of self-government or independence to subject peoples especially those in Asia. [79][80] He earlier stated that the proposal by the central government of the Philippines to include Sabah territory as part of the Philippines territory in their passports was nothing short of provocation and the federal government of Malaysia must immediately take steps to voice grave concerns over the matter. In the same agreement, Spain relinquished all claims to North Borneo which had belonged to the Sultanate in the past in favour of Great Britain.[27]. [35], On 15 July 1946, the North Borneo Cession Order in Council, 1946, declared that the State of North Borneo is annexed to the British Crown, hence becoming a British colony. The forces of freedom must combine and cooperate militarily and economically in order to balance the military and economic power of the forces of communism. Then, with the air of a magistrate delivering a stinging rebuke, he asks: “Why was the Philippine claim of sovereignty to North Borneo so tardily presented in the United Nations?” Yet, in the next breath, the good Senator reassures everyone that “I am and have been in favor of our government giving every possible support to the proprietary claims of the heirs of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram.” Now, let us examine these interesting assertions a little more closely. The answer is that North Borneo is not a part of the national territory of the Philippines as defined and delimited in our Constitution. The Sultanate of Sulu was granted the north-eastern part of the territory as a prize for helping the Sultan of Brunei against his enemies in 1658. Allen, J. de V.; Stockwell, Anthony J. Duterte wants the Philippines out of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), we should have brought our claims over Sabah to the ICJ, but I guess it is too late now. When a man sues in court to recover title and possession to a piece of land, the first thing he has to prove in court is the identity of the land. Upon his election in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte said he would press the Philippines’ contentious claim to Sabah. In 1946, the British North Borneo Company transferred all its rights and obligations to the British Crown. How can he, on the other hand, have nothing but praise for Malaya which, without any claim at all and virtually a stranger in the region, desires to take over — thanks to British support — the Bornean territories? Probably he did not give much thought to it then. When she became independent in 1957, Malaya was faced with a grave internal problem of communist infiltration and subversion. He knows or should know that incisive studies have been made and completed since last year on the Greater Confederation Plan by an Ad Hoc Committee, composed of professors and scholars in the University of the Philippines. While the Philippine claim over Sabah is often framed as a contentious issue between the Philippines and Malaysia, people forget that the claim also affects Indonesia, which currently controls the southeastern part of the territory being claimed by the Philippines. I have asked before and I now again ask: Is it the plan that this Greater Malayan Confederation will not seek any outside military or economic aid either from Britain or from the US and that each member state will just rely on her own military and economic resources to fight communist infiltration and subversion? [52][53], Prior to the formation of the Malaysia, two commissions of enquiry visited North Borneo, along with neighbouring Sarawak, to establish the state of public opinion there regarding merger with Malaya (and Singapore). And if Indonesia insists that the peoples of Sarawak, Brunei and North Borneo are against Malaysia, we should point out to her that there is available UN machinery and there is the peaceful remedy of asking for a plebiscite under the auspices of the United Nations, which renders unnecessary resort to war or use of force and violence. However, a further, earlier treaty signed by Sultan Abdul Momin of Brunei appointed Baron de Overbeck as the Maharaja Sabah, Rajah Gaya and Sandakan. 1903 Confirmation of Cession of certain island, Sovereignty over Ligitan and Sipadan islands case. Below are the full text of Sumulong’s speech and Salonga’s reply. 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