The new generation of Aquinos and the Marcoses find themselves on the opposite sides again as the stand off in Lahud Datu, Sabah escalates into an all-out attack from the Malaysian government.
The son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos broke his silence, demanding the son of martyred Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. to protect the follower’s of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
“We, as a republic, have a claim over Sabah since the 1960’s, we have historical claim over Sabah and that’s a fact,” Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.
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“But whatever else the issue there may be, the Sultan of Sulu and his people are Filipino citizens and, by virtue of that fact, they deserve protection from the government of the Philippines,” he added.
Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said the Aquino administration has the duty to protect all Filipinos who are caught in the middle of crossfire between Kiram’s followers and Malaysian police.
He noted this should be prioritized before the government officials decide to discuss or debate the legitimacy of Kiram’s claim of ownership on the disputed territory in North Borneo.
“Pero bago natin pag-usapan ang claim, protektahan muna natin ang mga Pilipino. We should talk to the Malaysians to spare the Filipinos from harm or harassment and to resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said.
“First and foremost, it’s the responsibility of the government to protect its citizens,” he noted.
During the Marcos dictatorship, the Philippine government broke diplomatic ties with Malaysia for rejecting the country's claim over Sabah.
In 1968, President Marcos also enacted a law that delineates the baselines of the Philippines that states that the country has acquired dominion and sovereignty over Sabah in North Borneo.
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The former president claimed that the Philippines claim over Sabah has historical, legal and moral grounds.
In the same year, Senator Aquino exposed Jabidah, a unit that was allegedly trained for a mission to destabilize North Borneo that was made by President Marcos.
But in 1977, President Marcos gives up Sabah claim as a step to “eliminate one of the burdens of Association of Southeast Asian Nations. (ASEAN).