According to the controversial article, former Sen. Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., had guaranteed Malaysia during the year 1983 that the Philippines would drop its claim over Sabah in return for its backing in the move to remove strongman Ferdinand Marcos from office. The article cited a previous foreign affairs official who made the revelations to the media.
Hermes Dorado, ex national territory division leader of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said the late Sen. Ninoy Aquino met with then Malaysian Prime Minister Mohammad Mahathir before he came back to the Philippines and was killed on Aug. 21, 1983, the crime which is still unsolved up to this day despite the presence of two Aquino administrations in Malacanang.
Dorado said there were no official records of the assumed meeting in the middle of Aquino and Mahathir, yet said he "got to be aware of this bit of knowledge" from previous representative and retired general Rafael Ileto.
“General Ileto indirectly confirmed that Ninoy Aquino asked for help from Mahathir in exchange for dropping the Sabah claim when he gains power,”Dorado told a discussion at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City. According to Dorado's statement, Gen. Ileto was the individual doled out to screen Aquino's development on his excursion back to Manila.
"There was a promise to remove Marcos," he included. “That is the reason why the government today is somehow reluctant to support the Sabah claim.”
“Our hands are tied today because the leadership up to this day is committed to drop the Philippine claim of Sabah,” he said.
As per Dorado, the clearest verification of Ninoy's assumed promise to Malaysia will be found in the 1987 Constitution, which was written amid the administration of his widow Corazon Aquino.
Dorado said the 1987 Constitution corrected the principal article of the 1973 Constitution and uprooted the expression, “and all other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title.”
The 1987 Constitution reconsidered the meaning of Philippine domain and "erased Sabah as a notable case went down by the legitimate title relating to the sultanate of Sulu," he included.
Dorado said Mrs. Aquino had no real option except to respect Ninoy's dedication to Mahathir on the grounds that she required backing from ASEAN countries to legitimize her authority to the administration through the general population power insurgency.
“Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir adamantly refused to attend the ASEAN Summit in Manila until President Cory made a firm commitment to amend Article 1 of the 1973 Constitution,” Dorado called attention to.
“Malaysian hard-ball diplomatic and guerrilla war maneuverings, backed by shrewd use of economic leverage, sourced from huge revenues from oil extracted in Sabah, were completed by 1987,” he included.
“They succeeded in forcing the Constitutional Commission to drop the Philippine Sabah claim, hands down.”
Dorado said the revised Baselines Law affirmed in March 2009 brought about the exclusion of Sabah from the Philippine region.
He said the revised law uprooted Section 2 of the 1968 law that incorporated the expression, “…the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty.”
“Removal of the specific reference to Sabah represented a disastrous outcome to the claims of the sultanate of Sulu,” Dorado told.
He guaranteed the consequences of the assumed "Ninoy-Mahathir agreement" have devastated every quiet possibilities of seeking after the nation's claims.
Source: Philippine Star
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