Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Locsin Jr. said today the Philippines is pursuing its territorial claim over Sabah and would not also sell its real estate properties in Japan.
Locsin discussed these and other issues when he defended the proposed 2021 P21 billion DFA budget in an in-person and virtual public hearing conducted by Senator Richard J. Gordon.
After the hearing, Gordon said he would recommend the approval of the budget of DFA and its attached agencies by the Senate when the proposed 2012 P4.5 trillion national budget is debated in plenary session.
When Gordon asked Locsin if he sees any “end” to the Sabah issue, Locsin he would never sit on the Philippine claim initiated by the late President Diosdado Macapagal and later strongly supported by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Locsin acknowledges the claim was put on the backburner during the Corazon Aquino administration but denounces the “cavalier” way in which other parties treated the claim.
‘’We are not a country to be ignored…. so please treat us with more respect,’’ he said.
Asked if he would establish a consulate in Sabah, Locsin ‘no’’ as those to be assigned there might contract malaria.
He said he would not be the one to forget the Sabah claim.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon said he supports the Philippine position that Sabah is a part of Philippine territory.
It is consistent with the Philippine Constitution, he added.
Drilon also supported the position of Locsin who is against the planned sale of Philippine real estate properties in Japan.
These properties in Tokyo and Kobe were part of the Japanese reparations as a result of World War II.
Drilon, a former Justice Secretary, said he finds it comforting that a Supreme Court decision mandated that any sale of the Philippine properties in Japan requires an enabling law.
It is not just a piece of property, is part of history, Drilon added.