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57 Phil. L.J. 78 (1982)
The Legal Implications of the Unilateral Dropping of the Sabah Claim

handle is hein.journals/philplj57 and id is 81 raw text is: THE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE UNILATERAL
At the opening session of the ASEAN Summit at Kuala Lumpur on
August 6, 1977, President Marcos made a dramatic announcement re-
garding the Philippine claim on Sabah that drew him the loudest
applause among ASEAN heads of states, but surprised the Filipino
people. He said:
Before ASEAN can look to the outside world for equity, for justice
and fairness, we must establish order, fairness and justice among ourselves.
As a contribution, therefore, I say in earnest to the future of ASEAN, I
wish to announce that the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
is therefore taking definite steps to eliminate one of the burdens of ASEAN,
the claim of the Philippine Republic on Sabah. It is our hope that this
will be a permanent contribution to the unity, the strength and prosperity
of all of ASEAN.1 (underscoring supplied)
The Philippine newspapers reported on August 30, 1977, that the
Philippine claim  of sovereignty and jurisdiction over Sabah has been
genuinely renounced. However, the proprietary claim of the Kiram heirs
(Heirs of the Sultan of Sulu) has not been withdrawn.2 The Kiram heirs
have pressed for their proprietary claim  over Sabah in financial amount
of $68 Million in exchange for withdrawing the claim. This has gained
support of the Philippine government which urged them to finalize it in
In announcing plans to formally withdraw the Philippines' sovereignty
claims over Sabah, President Marcos stressed that the proprietary claim
was a separate issue, that it is for the Malaysian government and the Kiram
heirs to decide. In fact, Malaysian Prime Minister Hussein Onn said
that it was up to the Sulu Sultan's heirs to discuss their claim with the
Malaysian government. He also acknowledged that the claim is a question
of proprietary rights legally and constitutionally a claim by the Sultan's
descendants for monetary compensation.4
I Ferdinand E. Marcos, Opening Statement at the ASEAN Kuala Lumpur Sum-
mit of 1977, Digest of Philippine Foreign Policy, 1972-1979, pp. 75-76.
2Bulletin Today, October 1, 1979, p. 9, col. 4.
3 Bulletin Today, October 29, 1979, pp. 1 & 13, col. 5.
4 Ibid. p. 13, col. 5.

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