BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI, Apr 25 (Mabuhay) — President Aquino said the Philippines’ relations with Malaysia remains healthy even if there have been renewed questions about the ownership of Sabah.
Aquino pointed out that even after the standoff and encounter between Malaysia’s security forces and the Sulu sultan’s followers, Malaysia granted a request of the Philippines to send home a Tawi-tawi town mayor and his supporters detained by Malaysia for alleged intrusion of Sabah.
“Instead of going through a whole process of determining the new invaders, etcetera, etcetera, basically, it was a request to the [Malaysian] foreign minister and he relayed it to the Prime Minister that expedited their repatriation back to the Philippines. That won’t happen if you don’t have trust and you don’t have good relations. In effect, they relied on the fact na mga ano ‘to, kandidato, nasira ang barko, wala silang malice involved, binalik sa atin kaagad,” he said.
“So I think that already signifies how good the relationships are between us and Malaysia.”
No bilateral meeting between President Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak took place at the sidelines of the ASEAN summit here. Najib, who is busy campaigning for the general elections, did not attend the summit and instead sent Malaysia’s senate president as his representative.
Meanwhlie, the Philippine government has yet to make a move with regard to pursuing its claim on Sabah.
He said he wants the issue resolved “to everybody’s satisfaction.”
“‘Pag may papasukan naman tayo syempre hindi ‘yung bahala na. Kailangan ay plantsadong-plantsado, pinag-aralan nang masusi, at talagang ‘yung direksyon ay based on logic, reason, and values-parang taking cognizance of the realities of the world that is there,” he said. (MNS)