Padilla urges PH gov’t to initiate talks with Malaysia for Sabah award

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 9) – Senator Robin Padilla said Tuesday the Philippine government must help the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu to secure a multibillion-dollar arbitration award from Malaysia.

During his first privilege speech, the actor-turned-senator urged the national government to support the descendants of the Sultan of Sulu following a French arbitral court's order for Malaysia to pay them nearly $15 billion in connection with a lease agreement on North Borneo, now known as Sabah.

Padilla asked why the government is staying "quiet" about the matter.

READ: OSG studying implications to PH of court ruling on Sabah favoring Sulu sultan's heirs

"Bilang mga Pilipino, karapat-dapat na tulungan ng buong kapangyarihan ng ating pamahalaan ang mga tagapagmana ng Sultanato ng Sulu katulad ng pagtulong nito sa kahit sinong mamamayan sa loob at labas ng bansa," he said.

[Translation: As Filipinos, the government must exert its full power to help the heirs of the Sultanate of Sulu, just like how it helps any citizen inside and outside the country.]

If the current administration decides to assist in settling the issue, Padilla believes it should not cause any tension between the Philippines and Malaysia.

"Ang gusto lang natin itong pagkapanalo na ito ay kilalanin ng gobyerno. Sila po mismo ay puwedeng makipag-ugnayan, gamitin nila ang pagkapanalo na ito na makipag-usap sa Malaysia," he said.

[Translation: We just want this victory to be recognized by the government. They should use this victory to communicate with Malaysia.]

He even claimed that the Philippine government could gain ₱174 billion once the award is enforced, adding that it would mean more funds for public services, as Filipinos continue to grapple with the pandemic and the rise in prices of goods and petroleum products.

CNN Philippines Correspondent Eimor Santos contributed to this report.