Sabah claim not on
February 20, 2014
Manila, Philippines — The country’s territorial claim to Sabah will not be raised by President Benigno S. Aquino III during his two-day visit to Malaysia starting February 27.
Instead, the President said he intends to tackle ways to promote economic relations with
as well as the government’s peace initiatives in Mindanao when he travels to Kuala Lumpur.
Sabah is not part of the
agenda. There are many topics such as bilateral relations, peace, and trade and
commerce,” the President said when asked if he will bring up the Sabah issue with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The President, however, said he would still check the condition of Filipinos detained for alleged involvement in the violent siege in Lahad Datu last year.
He said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has not reported any abuses against Filipino workers in
Malaysia but will continue to
monitor their welfare, especially those languishing in jails.
“Wala pa akong nakitang pruweba nitong alleged human rights violations. Walang nai-report sa atin ang kaukulang ahensiya ng gobyerno, ng DFA [I have not seen any proof of alleged human rights violations. The concerned government agency, the DFA has not reported such abuses to me],” the President said in a media interview after inspecting a government housing site in
Reports of abuse of Filipino workers in
circulated last month following the crackdown against undocumented foreign
The President recalled that alleged maltreatment of Filipinos reported in the media during the height of violent siege in
Sabah turned out to be false.
Aquino, however, gave assurances the government would continue to look after the plight of Filipinos, particularly ensure they would get due process amid a crackdown on illegal foreign workers.
He said government assistance will be extended to repatriate undocumented Filipino workers from
Legal services have also been extended to Filipinos facing trial for the Lahad Datu standoff in 2013, he added.
We will protect their rights through fair and due process, he said.
The President’s trip, upon the invitation of Razak, comes a month before the signing of the peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation under the auspices of
The President acknowledged that
has contributed a lot to advancing the peace process in Mindanao.
serves as facilitator in the Philippine government’s peace talks with the MILF.
Felda Global Ventures, the world’s largest crude palm oil producer, has
expressed interest to extend livelihood assistance to the people of Bangsamoro.