Robin Padilla wants gov’t to reignite Sabah claim
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Robin Padilla called on the government to assert the Philippines’ claim on Sabah, partially pursued under the Duterte administration.
During Padilla’s first-ever privilege speech at the Senate on Tuesday, he cited the French arbitration court’s ruling that Malaysia owes $14.92 billion to the heirs of the last Sulu sultan.
“Bilang mga Pilipino, karapat-dapat na tulungan ng buong kapangyarihan ng ating pamahalaan ang mga tagapagmana ng Sultanato ng Sulu katulad ng pagtulong nito sa kahit sinong mamamayan sa loob at labas ng bansa,” he said.
(As Filipinos, the government should help the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu with all its power like how it helped any citizen inside and outside the country.)
“Ang pagtulong ng pamahalaan sa kanyang mamamayan ay mandato ng Estado, hindi ito dapat pagmulan ng anumang tensyon sa relasyon ng Pilipinas at Malaysia,” he went on.
(The government’s help to its constituents is a mandate of the State. Therefore, this should not spark any tension between the Philippines and Malaysia.)
He further added: “Isipin po natin, mahal na Pangulo: kung malaki ang kapakinabangan ng bansa mula sa desisyong ito — kabilang na ang buwis na bubuhos mula sa parangal sa mga claimants — bakit po tila napakatahimik natin? Bakit po parang walang tumutulong sa kanila?”
(Let us think of it, Mr. President: If the country will benefit from this decision — including the tax that will be paid to the claimants — why does it seem like we are quiet? Why is no one helping them?)
Padilla likewise said that the Department of Foreign Affairs could use the award to discuss the matter with Malaysia.
Under the administration of former President Rodrigo Duterte, Palace upheld the country’s claim on Sabah.
In 1658, the sultanate of Brunei gave a part of Sabah to the sultanate of Sulu to show appreciation for the latter’s help in combating a rebellion in the foreign nation.
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