Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Duterte offers to drop 'Sabah claim' if

KOTA KINABALU - Incoming Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte appeared to take a more  conciliatory approach in his intention to pursue the so-called Sabah claim, saying he is now willing to talk peacefully with Malaysia over the matter.
"All what I want is to sit down with the Malaysian government and talk peacefully with them.

We will present whatever supporting documents we have and at the same time Malaysia will do the same.

"If our supporting documents are found to be irrelevant and illegal at the meeting, then it will allow the basis for the Philippine Government to officially drop the claim," he told journalists in Davao, where he is still Mayor, Tuesday.

"Let both sides discuss the matter peacefully once and for all," he said and reiterated that the Philippines would continue to be a friend of Malaysia.

Duterte, who has taken a tough stand on many issues at home, also assured that the Philippines would not resort to armed confrontation with Malaysia on the issue.

It appeared to be a signal that he disproved of actions like that carried out by a band of militants loyal to one of the late so-called Sulu sultanate's heirs who invaded Lahad Datu in 2013 over the so-called claim, that cost several lives.

"We have to address this Sabah claim issue in a very professional, friendly and peaceful manner for the benefits of all Filipinos and Malaysians," he stressed, adding that his earlier statement on the matter did not mean that Philippines would claim Sabah without engaging in consultations with Malaysia.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in reacting Duterte's statement said any so-called claim on Sabah by any quarters was a non-issue because the state gained independence through the formation of Malaysia in 1963 through a fact-finding mission by the Cobbold Commission which was recognised by the United Nations.

In response to another question, Duterte called on the Abu Sayyaf to surrender to the Philippine government when he officially assumes the presidency on June 30 and to release all the hostages as soon as possible.

"I will not allow the continuation of kidnapping incidents in the country neither will I allow kidnappers to kill hostages," he said. Among the hostages the group is holding for ransom currently are four Malaysians.

It beheaded a Malaysian hostage last November and another Canadian hostage last month.

No comments:

Post a Comment