DEPARTMENT of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, said they will revive the Sabah Bureau to defend the Philippines’ claim over the area.
During the House appropriations committee hearing for DFA’s 2021 budget proposal, Locsin said that he is now looking into the resurrection of an office in North Borneo after the United States embassy reffered to Sabah as part of Malaysia.
“Something happened this year when the press release was put out by the US Embassy and very casually referred to Sabah, ‘Malaysia’, and that was it. I told the embassy, ‘take it down’ first they did not want to do it,” Locsin told the panel.
In August, the US embassy in the Philippines came under fire after it announced that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated hygiene kits to Zamboanga Peninsula from Filipinos in “Sabah, Malaysia.”
“That claim has always been there. We are going to revive that bureau, and make sure that no one is allowed to question that claim without a challenge from us,” Locsin said.
“That is part of Philippine history,” he added.
In his previous statements, Locsin said that the Philippines has legal ownership and sovereignty over Northern Borneo as the successor in sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu. (Jove Moya/SunStar Philippines)