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Locsin summons Malaysian envoy over Sabah Twitter spat

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Locsin summons Malaysian envoy over Sabah Twitter spat
In this Oct. 18, 2018 photo, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. arrives at the Europa Building in Brussels, Belgium for the opening ceremony of the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting Summit.
Presidential Photos

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippines' top diplomat will summon the Malaysian envoy following a Twitter spat over Sabah.

Earlier this week, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. tweeted that "Sabah is not in Malaysia" when the US Embassy posted about donations for Filipino repatriates coming from "Sabah, Malaysia."

This prompted Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to call Locsin's tweet "irresponsible."

 "[The Malaysia Ministry of Foreign Affairs  will summon the Philippines Ambassador on Monday to explain. Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia," Hussein tweeted Wednesday night.

 
 In response to his Malaysian counterpart, Locsin said he will also summon the Malaysian ambassador.
 
"No country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own," Locsin tweeted Thursday morning.
 
The DFA chief's remarks was in response to former Sen. JV Ejercito, who said he supports Locsin's statement on Sabah, further claiming that "Sabah historically belongs to the Philippines.
 
"I don't insist China say only what we want to hear about the Arbitral Award. It is free to say what it wants while we say and do what needs doing. That holds for Sabah," Locsin added.

 
Locsin was referring to the July 2016 arbitral ruling that sided with the Philippines and invalidated China's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. Beijing, however, continues to reject the ruling and insists that it has indisputable sovereignty over the region.
 
The sultanate of Sulu used to rule over parts of southern Philippines and Sabah. In 1963, the British government transferred Sabah to the Federation of Malaysia but the Philippine government insists that it was only leased, not ceded, to the North British Co.

In his first official trip to Malaysia in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte and then Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak agreed to set aside the decades-long disagreement on Sabah to boost cooperation against security threats along their shared maritime borders. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS MALAYSIA SABAH TEODORO LOCSIN JR.
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: July 30, 2020 - 9:42am

Follow major updates on remarks by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. and responses to them.

July 30, 2020 - 9:42am

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. says he will summon the Malaysian ambassador after Malaysian Foreign Affairs Minister Hishammuddin Hussein called his tweet on Sabah "irresponsible."

Hussein said he will summon the Philippine ambassador to explai Locsin's tweet that "Sabah is not Malaysia."

Locsin, meanwhile, stresses that "[n]o country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own."

July 29, 2020 - 10:13pm

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein says Malaysia will summon the Philippine ambassador to explain a tweet by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. about Sabah.

"This is an irresponsible statement that affects bilateral ties. [The Ministry of Foreign Affairs] will summon the Philippines Ambassador on Monday to explain. Sabah is, and will always be, part of Malaysia," the Malaysian foreign minister said in a tweet.

 

The tweet was in response to Locsin's comment on a US Embassy tweet about hygiene kits it had donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development "for use by returning Filipino repatriates from Sabah, Malaysia who arrived in Zamboanga City and Bongao, Tawi Tawi."

Locsin quote-tweeted the US Embassy and said: "Sabah is not in Malaysia if you want to have anything to do with the Philippines." 

The Philippine claim over Sabah — which is at present occupied by Malaysia — is based on the title of the Sultan of Sulu, who ceded proprietary rights over the 76,115-square-kilometer land to the Philippines in 1962.

June 25, 2019 - 4:21pm

Vice President Leni Robredo responds to the tirade of Foreign Affairs chief  Teddy Locsin Jr. saying she does not engage in rude exchanges.

"Nabasa ko iyong tweet late last night kasi ang daming tumatawag. Sa akin naman, ever since hindi ako pumatol kapag usapang bastusan. Sa akin, hindi naman ako nababawasan noon. Alam ng tao kung ano ang tama at ano iyong mali, kaya hindi ko na iyon papatulan," she says.

"Pero pagdating sa bastusan, hindi ako sasagot, kasi hindi naman — Hindi ako ganoon, at palagay ko karamihan sa mga Pilipino hindi rin ganoon. Kaya dapat hindi binibigyan ng pagkakataon na, parang, makabuwelo iyong ganoong pag-uugali."

Asked if she accepts Locsin's apology, she says it's water under the bridge.

"Sa akin naman... sa akin, wala iyon. Ever since naman, nasa receiving end ako ng napakaraming unfair na accusations, nasa receiving end ako ng napakaraming pambabastos. Kapag usapin na ganoon, ayaw kong patulan."

June 25, 2019 - 10:53am

Sen. Kiko Pangilinan denounces Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin Jr. for calling Vice President Leni Robredo "boba."

Pangilinan says such rude behavior has no place in a civilized society, especially coming from a top diplomat.

Locsin has apologized to the vice president after the "disrespectful" slur which he uttered in connection with the issue on the cancellation of diplomatic passports amid the barring of former Foreign Affairs chief Albert del Rosario to enter Hong Kong.

 

 

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