By: Elena Grace Flores
One News PH
[VIDEO]: Roque: Sultanate of Sulu already assigned Sabah rights to PH gov’t
International Lawyer’s Take on Sabah
“The sultanate of Sulu has already assigned all their right to Sabah to the Philippine government. That is why the Sabah issue has become a Philippine issue and not just a private matter,” International lawyer, Harry Roque said. President Bongbong Marcos should clarify the government’s stance on the French arbitral ruling. It declared that Malaysia owed $14.9 billion to the heirs of the sultanate of Sulu.
The able lawyer notes that while the case is a private one, sovereignty also becomes an issue. It’s because the sultanate of Sulu already assigned all their rights to Sabah to the Philippine government. The case started with the heirs of late Sultan Jamalul Kiram III. They sued Malaysia for stopping the rental payments in 2013. The deal originated in 1978. The sultanate allowed a British trading company to utilize resources in Sabah.
Malaysia, however, said that it would defend its legal position. This is after finding that enforcement of the award could infringe on the country’s sovereignty. Sabah also overwhelmingly voted to join Malaysia in the 1963 referendum. In any case, Sabah really belongs to the Philippines regardless of Malaysia’s refusal to follow the ruling.