MANILA, PHILIPPINES – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has denied reports that the Philippine government will surrender its Sabah claims in exchange for a deal with Malaysia.
De Lima assured the Filipinos that the government will not give up its claims on Sabah, which has been considered by Malaysia as under its terroritory.
De Lima made the assurance in reaction to a new report that mentioned about a note verbale that allegedly stated that the Philippines will downgrade its claims on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia support in the ongoing territorial dispute between the Philippines and China.
The justice secretary said the report was a “misinformation” and “distortion”.
“I think it’s a misinterpretation to say that the Philippines is giving up on its claim on Sabah in exchange for Malaysia’s support against China. I didn’t read anything to that effect in the note verbale,” ani De Lima sa ambush interview.
She also questioned how the media outfit was able to get hold of the copy of the note verbal considering that it was a confidential document.
The note verbale was supposedly handed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to a representative of the Malaysian Embassy two weeks ago, a week after the visit of Malaysian Defense Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
De Lima said only the Department of Foreign Affairs can confirm the content of the note verbale. – BusinessNewsAsia.com