The government clarified that it did not offer to downgrade Sabah claim in exchange for Malaysia’s support to Philippines’ case against China. “Sabah was never mentioned in the Note and there’s no way that we are dropping our claim on Sabah,” Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said in a press conference. “As contained in the note, we are trying to explore ways by which we could resolve the issue on extended continental shelve. That’s the main point of the note.”
Jose added “one thing we could say, it’s a disservice to the country if conclusions such as these are being irresponsibly made.”
The DFA states in the said Note that it wants to confirm that Malaysia is projecting its extended continental shelf from mainland Malaysia and not from any features from Spratly Islands. DFA also wants to confirm that Malaysia does not claim beyond 12 nautical miles from any feature in Spratly Islands it claims.
The DFA added in the diplomatic note to Malaysia that it is reviewing its Note No. 000819 dated August 4, 2009 to UN Secretary General. Philippines’ August 2009 Note No. 000819 to UN is in response to the Joint Submission of Malaysia and Vietnam.
The 2009 Note states that the extended continental shelf claim by Malaysia and Vietnam lays claim on areas that are disputed because they overlap with that of the Philippines and “because of the controversy arising from the territorial claims on some of the islands in the area including North Borneo.”
The Philippines also requested, in the 2009 note, that the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to refrain from considering Malaysia and Vietnam’s claim unless and until after the parties have discussed and resolved the disputes.