|Old Sultanate of Sulu flag|
For instance, a well-known columnist for a Philippine broadsheet commented in a post by another columnist for another Philippine broadsheet the following:
(I will not name the said columnist to avoid embarassing him) "Sultanate might own it but that doesn't make it Philippine territory. No different from land owned by a Filipino family in Long Island - that's not Philippine territory. Do we send our troops to die for that?"
The comment of this columnist showed his total ignorance of where the Philippines is at in terms of the nation's Sabah claim. I was forced to butt in the conversation and told him about the law -- he did not comment any further because he was wrong: Sabah is, by Philippine law, a Philippine territory.
You see, Republic Acts 5522 and 5446 signed and passed in 1968 specify, stipulate that PH has acquired title and dominion over Sabah, hence, by law, it is PH territory albeit disputed and under de facto control of Malaysia. The law has not been abrogated, i.e., the RAs have not been repealed. So, even from a purely Philippine legal standpoint, Ph has the right to prosecute the claim. Sultanate or not, PH has contractual obligations to do it on behalf of the Republic. PH obligations were contracted based on the transfer of full sovereignty rights over Sabah by then Sultan Esmail Kiram 1 on 12 Sept 1962 which the Republic accepted through the government of President Diosdado Macapagal.
Now, in my view, the Republic is duty bound to raise the claim and to help in the recognition of the Sultanate of Sulu royal heirs (sultanate of Sulu contrary to some claim is not extinct) as proprietary right holders. It is actually as simple as that. Also, it is my conviction that the Philippine government cannot simply drop or relinquish the claim without violating the law that is if the law has not been repealed, which I am sure has not [been repealed]. It is as simple as that, sultanate or no sultanate.
~~ Admin AdB
for the Defenders of the Philippine Sabah and Spratly Claims
02 March 2013 or the 2nd Day of Infamy for the Republic's betrayal of the Suluks in Sabah