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Mar 01

North Borneo (Sabah): An annotated timeline 1640s-present

Introduction

I am sharing a timeline I have compiled of key events and accompanying literature on the North Borneo (Sabah) issue. This timeline is being shared for academic and media research purposes. It is not being published as an official statement of policy in any shape or form, nor does this timeline purport to be representative of of the views of the Philippine government.

Introductory Material

A. Graphical Timeline (unofficial)

Sabah: PH-MY Timeline

B. On the heirs to the Sultanate of Sulu (unofficial)

Controversies on Succession to Sultanate of Sulu 1936-present

Line of Succession of Sulu Sultanate in the Modern Era

A chart on the genealogy of the Modern–day Sultans of Sulu has been published in the Official Gazette.

Introductory Concepts

Pre-16th century social system

Tagalog: Nobility= MaginooFree Men = TimawaSlaves = Alipin (2 subcategories: alipin namamahay, performing personal service/ household chores; and alipin sagigilid, working the fields)
Visayas: Ruling class = DatuFree Men = TimagwaSlaves = Oripun (freedom regained either through money or services rendered except for lubos nga oripun)
Mindanao:

Ruling Class = Datu

Non-Slave Followers = Endatuan (Obliged to provide the Datu support in the form of scheduled payments of a portion of their crops and unscheduled contributions for prestige feasts or bridewealth payments. They were also required to perform military and nonmilitary labor service.)

Chattel slaves = Banyaga (Taken in raids or warfare or purchased, were a common form for storing and investing surplus wealth)

Debt-slaves = Ulipun (Endatuan could be reduced to ulipun for a number of causes, the rate of reduction often being related to the availability and cost of banyaga at a given time. New debt-slaves were either added to a datu’s personal following or put to work to produce food or provide menial services to the datu’s household. Typically, a significant portion of a datu’s debt-slaves were utilized as personal retinue or armed retainers and were supported by banyaga or other debt-slaves.)

Sultanates: defined and described in  McKenna, Thomas M.. Muslim rulers and rebels everyday politics and armed separatism in the southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Print, as follows:

[S]ultanates… conformed to a general sociopolitical type that has been characterized as a “segmentary state” (Southall 1965) or “contest state” (Adas 1981). They were loose confederations of local overlords, or datus. Datus formed a tribute-taking aristocracy with hereditary claims to allegiance from followers. While a ruling datu was almost always associated with a specific district, or inged,[5] the index of relative political potency was command of people rather than control of territory. In accord with the pattern that pertained throughout precolonial Southeast Asia, where arable land was more abundant and thus less valuable than human resources (Reid 1988), the wealth of a ruling datu was secured through rights over persons rather than rights in land.

…Because of the existence of a royal (barabangsa) bloodline, the sultan was not simply a primus inter pares ruler. He was, nonetheless, a datu who, as a result of a combination of pedigree and political savvy, commanded the allegiance of other datus. That allegiance was accomplished and maintained primarily through the creation of dyadic alliances between the sultan and individual datus—arrangements commonly sealed either by his bestowal of a daughter in marriage or his marriage to a daughter of another datu. Because datus ruling ingeds were the basic components of a sultanate, the authority of a sultan was exerted not over a royal domain as such but over his datu supporters, linked together in a network of dyadic alliances.

Ruma Bechara: translated literarily as “House of Talk,” or council of advisers, ratifies undertakings of the Sultan. The council[1] also designates the  Raja Muda or crown prince, as well as the accession of a new sultan.

Origin of sultanate: Abu Bak’r was first Mindanao ruler to adopt title of “sultan” (based on concept of Arab Caliphate); this is where Hindu title of “rajah” is replaced with “sultan”

Sultans of Sulu descended from three distinct lines:[2]

Indigenous population (local princess): Established the Sultans were not foreigners and could claim ownership of land.

Malaysian royalty: Strengthens legitimacy by being related to dynasties that ruled Malaysia and were heirs to empires

Descendant of the Prophet Muhammad: right to rule over Muslims

Tarsilas or salsilas – genealogies used by Islamic royalty;[3] no datu or person can become a sultan unless he was a tried-and-true descendant of the first sultan reflected on the tarsilas.

Immediate descendants of the first Sulu sultan who ruled are called sultans in the tarsilas. A few succeeding ones are called Pangirans, suggesting relationships with the royal family of Brunei.[4]

See also: H. Otley Beyer, Brief memorandum on the government of the Sultanate of Sulu and powers of the Sultan during the 19th century.

Tributory Mode of Production: McKenna, Thomas M.. Muslim rulers and rebels everyday politics and armed separatism in the southern Philippines. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998. Print defines the economic system of the sultanates as

[A] single political-economic system based on the external acquisition of plunder and slave labor and the internal production of commodities for external trade. It was a system propelled by the direct extraction of surpluses from primary producers by political or military means, and the circulation of that surplus “through the transactions of commercial intermediaries”…

That system comprised two principal socioeconomic categories that crosscut ethnolinguistic boundaries: tribute-takers and tribute-providers. Tribute-providers were predominantly direct producers, either freemen or slaves. Tribute-takers consisted primarily of local overlords (datus) linked with one another through intermarriage, through patronage arrangements, and by means of the ideology of nobility.

An Annotated Timeline (Unofficial)

Note: maps used are for non-commercial purposes only.

Kingdoms, Sultanates, and Trade 1200-1450

Kingdoms, Sultanates, and Trade 1200-1450

Late 1300s – Early 1400s (Raiding, Trading, and Feasting by Laura Lee Junker)

Tributary trade missions occur from the Philippines these trade missions compete for Chinese trade attention .

Early 1400s (Raiding, Trading, and Feasting by Laura Lee Junker)

Southern Philippine polities (Maguindanao, Sulu, and Kumalalang) were competing for dominance along the Southern South East Asia trade routes.

1417 (Raiding, Trading, and Feasting by Laura Lee Junker)

An initial trade mission successfully launched the Sulu polity as a significant player in early Ming southern spice trade.

1450

Sultanate established among the Islamized people of Sulu[5]

Thomas McKenna (2002) in Muslim Rulers and Rebels points out:

Term ‘sultanate’ refers to a political institution based on an Islamic legitimating ideology and headed by a sultan who is a formally hereditary leader who possesses the authority to bestow titles and appoint individuals to specialized subordinate offices. Sultans were distinguished by their pulna status (those designated as pulna were able to trace direct ancestry from Sarip Kabungsuwan through both parents). Within the datu estate, claims to status rank were predicated upon the quality and quantity of ties linked to Sarip Kabungsuwan. It was a complex system of rank and status; an example of which is the Cotabato Sultanate that had neither the number of offices of the Sulu Sultanate nor the elaboration in rank titles found among the Maranao. The Maguindanao Sultanate for instance, was known to have 11 offices (including that of the Sultan), arranged in 3 orders of rank.

Canoy: With this difference: unlike Tagalog/ Visayans, where leadership was chosen on basis of “age, wisdom or magical powers” leadership in Mindanao was picked for “bravery and skill as warriors”; succession to throne based on prowess rather than lineage; conflicting claims settled either through combat or decision by elders

1640s

Spain signed peace treaties with the strongest sultanates, Sulu and Maguindanao, recognizing their de facto independence.[6]

April 14, 1646

Treaty signed between Sultanate of Sulu and Spain regulating recognition of succession in sultanate and respective territory and rights of Spain and Sultanate of Sulu.[7]

1675-1704

Sultan of Sulu became sovereign ruler of most of North Borneo by virtue of a cession from the Sultan of Brunei whom he had helped in suppressing a rebellion.

There is no document stating the grant of North Borneo from Sultan of Brunei to Sultan of Sulu, but it is accepted by all sides.[8]

Eighteenth-century officers of the British East India Company had taken the cession for granted and dealt with the Sulu Sultans as the sovereigns of Sabah. Jesse, Brunei resident for the Company in 1774, and Sir Stamford Raffles did not raise questions about the cession of Sulu by the Brunians.[9]

Autonomous States and Colonies 1792-1860

Autonomous States and Colonies 1792-1860

1737

Treaty of alliance between Spain and the Sultan of Sulu, Azim Ud-Din (son of sultan Bagar Ud-Din; became sultan in 1735)[10]

1742

Treaty of alliance between Spain and Sultan Azim Ud-Din invoked by Sulu.[11]

1745

Treaty of alliance between Spain and Sultan Azim Ud-Din also invoked in effort of Sultan Azim Ud-Din to consolidate control of North Borneo territories against Tiruns (indigenous inhabitants of North Borneo)[12]

1758

Alexander Dalrymple envisages creation of “vast emporium of trade” for English, Indian, and Chinese goods in Borneo-Sulu vicinity. Receives permission from Governor Pigot to go on mission of exploration:

  1. To open trade with Sulu
  2. Survey and make hydrographic notes on North Borneo
  3. Negotiate treaty with Sultan of Sulu [13]

January 28, 1761

Alexander Dalrymple, Deputy Secretary of the Madras Council of the East India Company signs Articles of Friendship and Commerce with Sultan of Sulu Muiz-ud-din Bantilan granting land for a factory; granting extraterritorial legal rights to the English; granting trade monopoly to British; and establishing alliance[14]

Governor Pigot and the Madras Council of the East India Company sends Dalrymple to Sulu, along with one Thomas Kelsall, to announce the formal acceptance of the Treaty and to obtain the cession of Balambangan island.[15]

In the same year, Articles of Friendship and Commerce between the Sultanate of Sulu and Alexander Dalrymple are ratified by the Ruma Bichara

September 12, 1762

Sultanate of Sulu cedes the island of Balambangan to British East India Company

October 1762

Prior to the British occupation of Manila, the Secret Committee of the British East India Company wanted to take possession of Mindanao.[16]

The English forces in Manila encountered and released Sultan Alim-ud-din and his son Raja Muda Muhammed Israel (who had been taken captive)–in gratitude, the Sultan made “generous offers” to the Manila Council. Deputy Governor Dowsonne Drake and his council agreed to conclude a treaty that would not be in conflict with the 1761 treaty.

January 23, 1763

Dalrymple hoists the British flag in Balambangan, after entering into a  treaty with the new Sultan Alim-ud-din I, son of Bantilan, for the cession of Balambangan.[17]

February 23, 1763

A Treaty of Alliance and Commerce is signed between Sultan Alimudin I and Dowsonne Drake. It confirmed the 1761 treaty, including the mutual defensive alliance, except for a provision stating British respect of the government, customs and religion of the people of Sulu.[18]

1762-1764

British occupation of Manila and extensive parts of Northern Luzon.

During this period, Sultan Alimuddin is a prisoner in manila; his nephew reigns as Sultan Alimmudin II, temporarily in his uncle’s absence until May 17, 1764

It is during this period of captivity that Alimuddin:

  1. Offers to sign treaty with British East India Company;
  2. Reassures Spanish Governor General that this is meaningless because he hasn’t assumed powers of sultan.

September 19, 1763

Dalrymple receives a confirmation of the cession of Balambangan from Sultan Alimuddin II, son of Bantilan.[19]

May 21, 1764

Spanish reassume control of Manila. Sometime after this, Alimuddin ratifies the cession of Balambangan Island to the British East India Company and ratifies a new Treaty of Commerce and Friendship with Dalrymple

June 29, 1764

Sultan Alimudin I confirmed the cession of North Borneo (from the northeast side of the river Kinabatagan to the northwest side of the river Kimanis, together with Balambangan, Labuan, Banguey and Palawan) to the East India Company in return for the promise that one of his sons, Datu Saraphodin, was to govern these territories.[20]

July 2, 1764

Sultan Alimudin II signed the deed of cession, together with Datu Oranky Mamanacha, Datu Tumangoon, and Datu Mannabeel on behalf of the nobility in Sulu.[21]

July 30, 1764

Dalrymple granted a commission to Datu Saraphodin (one of Sultan Alimudin I’s sons), vesting the power and authority to assume government of the ceded territories on behalf of the Company.[22]

September 28, 1764

A perpetual treaty of friendship and commerce was signed by the Sultan of Sulu and Dalrymple which renewed and confirmed the 1761 treaty.[23]

1769

The East India Company decides to occupy Balambangan and make it a strategic commercial base; however, the conditions on the island lead them to abandon this settlement in early 1755.[24]

1800–1850

This area (a portion of the territory ceded to Sulu by Brunei) had been effectively controlled by the Sultanate of Bulungan in Kalimantan, reducing the boundary of Sulu territory in North Borneo to a cape named Batu Tinagat and Tawau River. (United Nations Publications)

Other Maps-01

Map showing Tawau river and Kalimantan.

1803-1805

The East India Company attempts to re-occupy Balambangan but is unsuccessful due to the Company’s Directors’ disapproval.[25]

1805-1858

The East India Company “showed no interest in resettling North Borneo”.[26]

March 17, 1824

Treaty of London signed by the Netherlands and Great Britain.

Allocates certain territories in the Malay archipelago to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands (Dutch East Indies).[27]

Detail of 1822 C.G. Reichard Map outlining Sultanate of Sulu in blue.

Detail of 1822 C.G. Reichard Map outlining Sultanate of Sulu in blue.

September 23, 1836

Treaty of Peace and Commerce between Spain and Sulu, signed in Sulu

Granting Spanish protection of sultanate, mutual defense, and safe passage for Spanish and Joloan ships between ports of Manila, Zamboanga, and Jolo.[28]

Ortiz: Spain did not claim sovereignty over Sulu, but merely offered “the protection of Her Government and the aid of fleets and soldiers for wars…”[29]

1840 north borneo latest

Circa 1840: territories of Sultans of Brunei and Sulu

February 5, 1842

An Agreement was made between the Sultan of Sulu and the United States.

The agreement stated that the Sultanate of Sulu will protect American vessels in the area should they be shipwrecked and protection of U.S. citizens. The agreement was not subject to ratification and not proclaimed.[30]

April 23, 1843

French warship favorite arrives in Jolo soon after vessels commander T.F. Page enters into treaty of Friendship and Commerce with Sultan Pulalon

February 21, 1845

Ruma Bechara agrees to sale of Basilan to France for 100,000 Mexican dollars on condition it is occupied by France within 6 months. Spanish Governor in Zamboanga protests. Governor General Narciso Cleveria orders construction of fort in Pangasaha, Basilan as deterrent to France. France eventually decides against purchase of Basilan.

1845

Muda Hassim, Uncle of the Sultan of Sulu,  publicly announced as successor to the Sultanate of Sulu with the title of Sultan Muda: he was also the leader of the “English party,” (today the term for Crown Prince is Raja Muda)[31]

The British Government appoints James Brooke as a confidential agent in Borneo[32]

The British Government extends help to Sultan Muda to deal with piracy and settle the Government of Borneo[33]

April 1846

Sir James Brooke receives intelligence that the Sultan of Sulu ordered the murder of Muda Hassim, and some thirteen Rajas and many

of their followers; Muda Hassim kills himself because he found that resistance is useless. [34]

July 19, 1846

Admiral Thomas Cochrane, Commander-in-chief of East Indies and China Station of the Royal Navy, issued a Proclamation to cease hostilities (“piracy,” crackdown versus pro-British faction) if the Sultan of Sulu would govern “lawfully” and respect his engagements with the British Government

If the Sultan persisted, the Admiral proclaimed that the squadron would burn down the capital of the sultanate.[35]

May 7, 1847

James Brooke is instructed by the British Government to conclude a treaty with the Sultan of Brunei

British occupation of Labuan is confirmed and Sultan concedes that no territorial cession of any portion of his country should ever be made to any foreign power without the sanction of Great Britain[36]

Labuan

Labuan

December 1848

James Brooke, British Governor of Labuan and Consul General in North Borneo, established preliminary contact with the Sultan of Sulu

May 28, 1849

James Brooke and Sultan Pulalon of Sulu agreed on favored nation status for each other; right of British subjects to acquire properties in Sulu; docking rights; pirate-free policy and prior consent before.

Brooke then, proceeds to Zambaonga to inform Spain. The Spanish object.

May 29, 1849

Convention of Commerce between Britain and the Sultanate of Sulu

Sultan of Sulu will not cede any territory without the consent of the British. [37]

November 12, 1850

The Dutch signed a Politiek Contract with the Sultan of Bulungan as noted in “Affaire relative à la souveraineté sur Pulau Ligitan et Pulau Sipadan”. See pertinent excerpts (unofficial translation)[38]:

In 1850, the Government of the Dutch East Indies and the sultans of the three kingdoms [belonging to a “contrat de vassalité”] agreed on the respective kingdoms they were given in fief. The agreement with the Sultan of Bulungan is dated November 12, 1850.

A geographical description of the area constituting the Sultanate of Bulungan appeared for the first time in the contract of November 12, 1850. Article 2 of the contract described Bulungan territory as follows:

Bulungan territory is limited by the boundaries as follows:

  • With-Gounoung Tabur: the coast to the interior, the river Karangtiegau from its mouth to its source, in addition, the boat Beoukkier and Mount Palpakh. 
  • With the following belonging to sulu: the sea cape Tinagat referred to as Batou and the Tawau river

The following islands belong to Bulungan: Terrakan, Nanukan, and Sebatik, with small islands attached to it.

This delineation is based on a provisional basis and will result in a new comprehensive review and redetermination.

North  Borneo 2

Circa 1850: Spheres of British and Dutch influence in Borneo; territories of Sultans of Brunei and Sulu, including territory of Sultan of Sulu placed under control of Sultan of Bulungan, and ceded in turn, to Dutch
East Indies by Sultan of Bulungan

April 30, 1851

Treaty signed with Spain by the Sultan of Sulu, Mohammed Pulalun.

The Sultanate of Sulu was incorporated into the Spanish Monarchy.[39]

1854-1858 German Map showing extent of Spanish dominion in the Philippines: see wavy line excluding portion of Palawan and Sulu

1854-1858 German Map showing extent of Spanish dominion in the Philippines: see wavy line excluding portion of Palawan and Sulu

1859 German Map showing Spheres of Influence: note how it excludes Sultanate of Sulu

1859 German Map showing Spheres of Influence: note how it excludes Sultanate of Sulu

1858

The East India Company is dissolved following the Indian Mutiny, and all its territories are taken over by the British Crown.[40]

1860

Spanish government, concerned over German trade in guns ammunition and strategic materials with Moros, proclaims ban on foreign trade with Sulu

August 11, 1865

Claude Lee Moses, an “American adventurer with dubious consular status,” secures from the Sultan of Brunei and the Pengeran Tumonggong a 10-year lease of a tract of land north of Brunei, with rights and privileges similar to those vested upon Rajah James Brooke in Sarawak, for an annual payment of M$9,500.[41]

September 9, 1865

Moses transfers all rights to American businessmen Joseph W. Torrey and Thomas B. Harris, in return for a promise to pay him later.[42]

October 25, 1865

Torrey and Harris, with two Chinese associates, sign an agreement to take over the cession, raise a capital of $7,000, and conduct trade between North Borneo and Hong Kong. They then organized the American Trading Company of Borneo.[43]

November 1865

The American Trading Company settles in North Borneo. Torrey is given the title “Raja Ambong and Marudu” by the Sultan of Brunei[44]

Following Harris’ death in 1866 and lack of capital, Torrey approaches Baron Gustavus von Overbeck in Hong Kong  (a German who served as a minor diplomatic official of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) to propose acquisition of the lease territory In turn, Overbeck initially planned to sell the territory to the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

July 30, 1866

Moses writes the U.S. Secretary of State saying the property he acquired was a lease.

In the letter: “On the 9th day of September I transferred my leases to a company styled the American Trading Company of Borneo, J. W. Torrey, President”[45]

January 17, 1867

Earl of Derby to Lord Odo Russel:

that, whatever Treaty rights Spain may have had to the sovereignty of Sulu and its dependencies, those rights must be considered as having lapsed owing to the complete failure of Spain to attain a de facto control over the territory claimed.

 

The High Colonial Age 1870-1914

The High Colonial Age 1870-1914

Section of 1874 Colton's East Indies and Strait of Singapore Map

Section of 1874 Colton’s East Indies and Strait of Singapore Map

Section of Colnton's 1874 Map: Territory of "Sultan of Sooloo"

Section of Colnton’s 1874 Map: Territory of “Sultan of Sooloo”

1872

North Borneo3

1872-1914: evolution of modern-day delineations of territory in Borneo. Expansion of Sarawak, reduction of Brunei, creation of State of North Borneo and absorption by Dutch East Indies of portion formerly administered by Sultan of Bulungan, all from territory of Sultan of Sulu

July 11, 1874

Baron Overbeck signs an agreement with Count Montgelas and A.B. Mitford to acquire the rights from the American Trading Company, where he will put £2,000 and they will put up £1,000 each. Torrey sells all his rights to in the American Trading Company to Overbeck for $15,000 on the condition that the lease (which was due to expire that year) be renewed.[46]

However, the Sultan of Brunei did not want to renew it because neither Moses nor Torrey had paid the Sultan during the contractual period.

1874

These maps show the extent of the territory of the Sultan of Sooloo (Sulu)

June 21, 1875

Renewal of the lease for another 10 years, upon payment of £1000 to the Pengeran Tumonggong.[47]

1876

Two German vessels that break Spanish blockade are captured by Spain. Germany and Britain protest.

Spanish government launches Malcampo expedition against Sulu.

Overbeck approaches Alfred Dent, who realizes the potential of North Borneo and advances £10,000 on condition that the sole management of the North Borneo Concession be given to him.[48]

February 2, 1877

Ordinance issued in the form of Statute (Decree) No. 31 on the power set who oversees the royal Bulungan Tidung Land, the island of Tarakan, Nunukan, Sebatik Island, and some small islands in the vicinity. In fact, the Decree will be confirmed again on March 15, 1884 by the Secretary of the Dutch East Indies in Bogor.

May 30, 1877

Protocol of Sulu signed between Spain, Germany, and Great Britain, providing free movement of ships engaged in commerce and direct trading in the Sulu Archipelago.

British Ambassadors in Madrid and Berlin were instructed that the protocol implies recognition of Spanish claims over Sulu or its dependencies.

At this point the following western countries have possessions in Southeast Asia:

British = Singapore, Malaya, Brunei, Sarawak, and North Borneo

Germany = Papua New Guinea

Netherlands = Indonesia

Spain = Philippines, Guam, Marshall Islands, Caroline Islands

France = Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia (French IndoChina)[49]

December 1877

Expeditions of Alfred Dent to control north part of Borneo began.

Alfred Dent, member of the commercial house of Dent Brothers and Co. of London. [50]

Overbeck obtains a grant from the Sultan of Brunei for some 28,000 square miles of land in the northern part of Borneo for an annual payment of $15,000. Overbeck learns afterward that the northeastern part of Borneo was ceded to the Sultan of Sulu, and so he and William H. Treacher sail to Sulu to negotiate a contract for the rest of North Borneo.[51]

Quiason: Upon close scrutiny and extensive research, based on Professor K. Tregonning’s book ‘Under Chartered Company Rule’, the use of the term “cession” in those days actually meant “lease” that is, the lease of a territory for a stipulated period of time in consideration of an annual payment.

January 2, 1878

Acting Consul-General Treacher sends repor: Overbeck will have to conclude separate contract with Sultan of Sulu:

The Sultan of Brunei’s territory extends, at the utmost, only to the west side of Malludu Bay, though formerly the Brunei kingdom extended as far as Cape Kaniungan, on the east coast, in latitude 1° north. The remaining territory, mentioned in the grants is actually under Sulu rule, and occupied by Sulu Chiefs, and it was only because the districts were mentioned in the original American grants that they are again included, and Mr. Overbeck will now have to make a separate agreement with the Sultan of Sulu for them.

January 22, 1878

Sir Alfred Dent obtains sovereign control over the northern part of Borneo for 5,300 ringgit ($5,000) from the Sultans of Brunei and Sulu.  See contending translations of relevant portions of this document.See also the Spanish translation. See another English translation.

Concessions would later be confirmed by Her Majesty’s Royal Charter in November, 1881 granted to the British North Borneo Co.

On the Charter granted, Professor George Mct. Kahin states “the non-alienation principle was explicit; there could be no transfer of territory without the consent of the British Secretary of State” and that should a conflict arise, the British Secretary of State would have the power of decision

The territory of the Sultan of Sulu over the island of Borneo:

 commencing from the Pandassan River on the north-west coast and extending along the whole east coast as far as the Sibuco River in the south and comprising amongst other the States of Paitan, Sugut, Bangaya, Labuk, Sandakan, Kina Batangan, Mumiang, and all the otherterritories and states to the southward thereof bordering on Darvel Bay and as far as the Sibuco river with all the islands within three marine leagues of the coast.[52]

Sultan of Sulu Mohammed Jamalul Alam appoints Baron de Overbeck as Datu Bendajara and Raja of North Borneo.

(Baron de Overbeck, Austrian national heavily connected with the house of Dent and Co. at Hong Kong. Overbeck was sent to Borneo as a representative of Dent and Co. to enter negotiations with Sultans and Chiefs of Brunei and Sulu – Dec 1878 Statement and Application of Debt of Dent and Overbeck to the Marquis of Salisbury)[53]

Sultan of Sulu Mohammed Jamalul Alam (Translation of Deed of 1878 by Prof. Harold Conklin) wrote letters to the Governor of Jolo, Carlos Martinez  and the Captain-General Malcampo to revoke what he termed the lease he granted over North Borneo.[54]

See: Report to Earl of Derby from Acting Consul-General Treacher:

By this grant, in consideration of the annual payment to the Sultan of the sum of 5,000 dollars, the representatives of the proposed Company obtain the concession of the country extending from the Pandassan River on the west coast to the Sibuco River on the east, including the five harbours of Maludu and Sandakan, and Darvel and Sibuco Bays.

The Sultan was anxious that the limits should be fixed from Kimanis to Balik Pappan, explaining that by making no mention of the country from Kimanis to Maludu he might be thought by his people to be abandoning his claim to it, though at the same time he acknowledged that his power actually only commences at Maludu, and that consequently he would ask no additional rental if the limits were fixed as he desired; it being considered, however, that complications might arise in the future with the actual possessors of that country—for the most part independent Chiefs—a compromise was effected and the limits fixed from the Pandassan River to the Sibuco River, the latter limit being, according to a Dutch official chart, in the Baron’s possession, the northern limit of Dutch territory on that coast, though, as I have not with me the Treaty said to exist with Holland confining its right to colonize in these seas within certain limits, I am unable to state whether they are justified in coming so far north on that coast.

The Sultan assured me that at the present moment he receives annually from this portion of his dominions the sum of 5,000 dollars, namely 300 busings of seed pearls from the Lingabo River alone, which at 10 dollars a busing comes to 3,000 dollars per annum, and about 2,000 dollars from four birds’-nest caves in the Kinabatangan River, which are his family possessions.

See contract in Spanish, in English (translation of Spanish); Conklin translation (from Arabic copy in Washington); Maxwell and Gibson translation.

April 4, 1878

Letter of Commanding General of the Naval Station of the Philippine Islands: reporting Overbeck undertaking.

June 2, 1878

New contract of vassalage concluded between the Government of the Dutch East Indies and the Sultan of Bulungan.

July 4, 1878

The Sultan of Sulu Mohammed Jamalul Alam sends a letter to the Captain-General of the Philippines.

According to the letter of the Sultan, Sandakan was not ceded to the United Kingdom but was only leased. The Sultan added that he only did this under the threat of attack from the British.[55]

July 22, 1878

Bases of Peace and Capitulation signed in Jolo.

Sultan of Sulu, Mohammed Jamalul Alam declared the sovereignty of Spain over the Archipelago of Suluand its dependencies while granting free exercise of religion and customs for his people. [56]

See also letter of July 24, 1878 from the Governor of Sulu to Baron de Overbeck.

British, German, French, Dutch, and the Spaniards agree on their spheres of influence in Southeast Asia.[57]

Peace treaty of Spain and Sultanate of Sulu.

Having signed peace treaty with Sultanate of Sulu, Spain embarks on Spanish protocol to resume trade:

1. Sultan and Datus to receive salaries from Spanish government; authorized to issue licenses for firearms and collect customs duties on foreign trade except in ports controlled by Spain; Spain to respect Islamic culture and religion and Sultanate to accept Christian missionaries.

2.   Sultanate of Sulu accepts sovereignty of Spain and concedes that no territorial cession of any portion should ever be made to any foreign power without the sanction of Spain.

As a consequence of treaty, Spain efforts in sovereignty in North Borneo.

Sultan of Sulu writes to Governor-General of the Philippines: due to treaty, it is his will to cancel the contract in North Borneo. The Sultan of Sulu  also writes to Governor of Sulu with same information.

Governor of Sulu writes to Overbeck: informing him of cancellation of contract.

July 24, 1878

Governor of Sulu writes to Overbeck: contract with Sultan of Sulu must be taken in context with preexisting treaties and Spanish sovereignty. Overbeck responds to Governor of Sulu: Spanish protectorate over Sulu does not nullify contract.

August 20, 1878

Governor-General of the Philippines writes to Madrid: efforts to have Overbeck contract cancelled.

October 18, 1878

Contract between the Government of the Dutch East Indies and the Sultan of Bulungan was approved and ratified by the Governor General of the Dutch East Indies.

December 2, 1878

Dent and Overbeck apply for a Charter of Incorporation from Queen Victoria.[58]

April 16, 1879

Acting Governor Treacher writes to the Colonial Office, objecting to hoisting of Spanish flag over North Borneo. Treacher also writes to Sultan of Sulu reiterating objection.

October 15, 1879

Acting Consul-General Treacher to the Marquis of Salisbury: on whether Palawan included in Sultanate of Sulu, and reporting Spanish efforts to have Sultan of Sulu hand over North Borneo to Spain.

November 5, 1879

Memorandum by the Duke of Tetuan to the Marquis of Salisbury. See also Memorandum issued in Madrid, giving Spanish view on Overbeck.

November 6, 1879

Mr. West to the Marquis of Salisbury.

1880

The sultanate’s territory became officially part of the Dutch East Indies.[59]

November 1, 1881

Queen Victoria grants Charter of Incorporation to the British North Borneo Company.

British North Borneo Company now does actually exist “as a Territorial Power” and not “as a Trading Company.”[60]

November 16, 1881

Spaniards protest granting of Royal Charter.

By virtue of treaties of capitulation of 1836, 1851, and 1878, Spain exercised sovereignty over Sulu and its dependencies including North Borneo; Sultan of Sulu had no right to enter into any treaties or make any cessions whatsoever.[61]

Drawn by W.M. Crocker, representative of British North Borneo Company

W.J. Turner 1881 Royal Geographical Society Map: Drawn by W.M. Crocker, representative of British North Borneo Company for 16 years. Compare to 1901 and 1902 maps to see ultimate adjustments of various borders. (map located by Roel Balingit)

W.J. Turner 1881 Royal Geographical Society Map, detail.

W.J. Turner 1881 Royal Geographical Society Map, detail.

W.J. Turner 1881 Royal Geographical Society Map, inset map showing general divisions of North Borneo.

W.J. Turner 1881 Royal Geographical Society Map, inset map showing general divisions of North Borneo. Portion in purple marked British North Borneo Co. is what is generally identified as Sabah (North Borneo). Portion in yellow, also marked “Sultan of Sulu” in this map, generally comprises the portion of the Sultan of Sulu’s territory originally administered by the Sultan of Bulungan, but which the Sultan of Bulungan in turn ceded to the Dutch East Indies. Compare to 1901 Map to see further adjustments of borders.

January 7, 1882

British Foreign Minister Lord Earl Granville’s letter saysCrown assumes no dominion or sovereignty over the territories occupied by the Company, nor does it purport to grant to the Company any powers of Government thereover.

Crown merely recognizes the grants of territory and the powers of government made and delegated by the Sultans in whom the sovereignty remains vested. [62]

1884

North Borneo 4

March 7, 1885

Spanish claims to Borneo abandoned by Protocol of Sulu entered into by England, Germany and Spain.

Spanish supremacy over the Sulu Archipelago was recognised on condition of their abandoning all claim to the portions of Northern Borneo which are now included in the British North Borneo Company’s concessions.[63]

May 12, 1888

While civil war was ongoing in Sulu, “State of North Borneo” is made a British protectorate.

An agreement between the British North Borneo Company and Great Britain; British Government admits the North Borneo Company derived its rights and powers to govern the territory.[64]

On the protectorate status of North Borneo, Professor Kahin notes that “in effect, a status already de facto was thereby rendered de jure.

June 14, 1888

British Protectorate established over Sarawak.[65]

September 17, 1888

British Protectorate established over Brunei.[66]

Blumentritt's Ethnological Map of the Philippines, 1890

Blumentritt’s Ethnological Map of the Philippines, 1890

Detail of 1890 Rand McNally Map delineating Sultanate of Sulu (yellow) from Spanish Philippines (green)

Detail of 1890 Rand McNally Map delineating Sultanate of Sulu (yellow) from Spanish Philippines (green)

November 1, 1888

Royal Charter granted to British North Borneo Company:

5. In case at any time any difference arises between the Sultan of Brunei or the Sultan of Sooloo and the Company, that difference shall, on the part of the Company, be submitted to the decision of our Secretary of State, if he is willing to undertake the decision thereof.

1892

Jose Rizal proposes to the Spanish government to establish a Filipino colony in Sabah. This plan, however, does not push through.

1893 Netherlands Map indicating Borneo-Sulu Nautical Border

1893 Netherlands Map indicating Borneo-Sulu Nautical Border

1893

The declaration of the contract of vassalage in 1878 between the Government of the Dutch East Indies and the Sultan of Bulungan was amended.

1896

Federated Malay States

Provinces included:

  • Negeri Sembilan
  • Pehang
  • Perak
  • Selangor[67]

1894-1936

Sultan Jamalul Kiram II rules the Sultanate of Sulu.

Philippine Dependencies up to 1898: Marianas, Carolines, Palau Islands, from information in The Philippine Islands by John Foreman

Philippine Dependencies up to 1898: Marianas, Carolines, Palau Islands, from information in The Philippine Islands by John Foreman

Actual Spanish Map

Actual Spanish Map

December 10, 1898

Treaty of Paris

Spain cedes the Philippine Islands to the United States of America. The treaty lines did not include North Borneo (Sabah). [68]

Treaty of Paris 1898

Treaty of Paris 1898

January 1899

President Emilio Aguinaldo wrote a letter to the Sultan of Sulu pledging that the newly created Philippine Republic would “respect absolutely the beliefs and traditions of each island in order to establish on solid bases the bonds of fraternal unity demanded by our mutual interests.”

Aguinaldo was asking the Sultan for his support but clarified that the Sultanate of Sulu was part of the Philippine Republic.

The Sultan of Sulu did not respond to President Aguinaldo’s letter.[69]

May 1899

At the end of May, 1899, after the war had begun and American troops posted to Jolo, the President’s cousin, Baldomero Aguinaldo, who has been placed in command of the “Southern Region” of the Republic, wrote the Sultan, “authorizing” him to … “establish in all… … of Minadanao and Sulu a government in accordance with decrees of the Republic.” He was also requested to report the number of his forces and the results of his efforts. The Sultan of Sulu and other Moro leaders ignored him.

(Tan, Samuel K. “Revolutionary Inertia in Sulu,” The Philippine Revolution and Beyond, Vol. II.)

February 1, 1899

U.S. President replies to Senate query, that payments to Sultan of Sulu will come from Philippine Treasury.[70]

May 19, 1899

Captain E.B. Pratt with two battalions of 23rd infantry arrive at Jolo – Sultan issues favorable proclamation.[71]

July 3, 1899

Gen. Otis orders Gen. John C. Bates to visit Sulu archipelago with a view to a treaty.[72]

August 20, 1899

Kiram-Bates Treaty signed.

Treaty acknowledged the “sovereignty of the United States over Jolo and its dependencies.”

December 5, 1899

In his State of the Union Message, William McKinley discusses American policy towards the Sultanate of Sulu:

The authorities of the Sulu Islands have accepted the succession of the United States to the rights of Spain, and our flag floats over that territory. 

On the 10th of August, 1899, Brig. Gen. J. C. Bates, United States Volunteers, negotiated an agreement with the Sultan and his principal chiefs, which I transmit herewith. By Article I the sovereignty of the United States over the whole archipelago of Jolo and its dependencies is declared and acknowledged.

The United States flag will be used in the archipelago and its dependencies, on land and sea. Piracy is to be suppressed, and the Sultan agrees to co-operate heartily with the United States authorities to that end and to make every possible effort to arrest and bring to justice all persons engaged in piracy. All trade in domestic products of the archipelago of Jolo when carried on with any part of the Philippine Islands and under the American flag shall be free, unlimited, and undutiable. The United States will give full protection to the Sultan in case any foreign nation should attempt to impose upon him. The United States will not sell the island of Jolo or any other island of the Jolo archipelago to any foreign nation without the consent of the Sultan. Salaries for the Sultan and his associates in the administration of the islands have been agreed upon to the amount of $760 monthly.

Article X provides that any slave in the archipelago of Jolo shall have the right to purchase freedom by paying to the master the usual market value. The agreement by General Bates was made subject to confirmation by the President and to future modifications by the consent of the parties in interest. I have confirmed said agreement, subject to the action of the Congress, and with the reservation, which I have directed shall be communicated to the Sultan of Jolo, that this agreement is not to be deemed in any way to authorize or give the consent of the United States to the existence of slavery in the Sulu archipelago. I communicate these facts to the Congress for its information and action.

February 1, 1900

Kiram-Bates Treaty submitted to the U.S. Senate by William McKinley:

In compliance with the resolution of the Senate of January 24, 1900, I transmit herewith a copy of the report and all accompanying papers of Brig-Gen. John C. Bates, in relation to the negotiations of a treaty or agreement made by him with the Sultan of Sulu on the 20th day of August, 1899.

I reply to the request and said resolution for further information that the payments of money provided for by the agreement will be made from the revenues of the Philippine Islands, unless Congress shall otherwise direct.

Such payments are not for specific services but are a part consideration due to the Sulu tribe or nation under the agreement, and they have been stipulated for subject to the action of Congress in conformity with the practice of this Government from the earliest times in its agreements with the various Indian nations occupying and governing portions of the territory subject to the sovereignty of the United States.

Not ratified by the U.S. Senate, President Theodore Roosevelt abrogates treaty.[73]

March 24, 1900

In an article published on the Evening Star entitled “Jolo Jollities”, the author Theodore wrote that the Sultan of Sulu was honored with a 17-gun salute upon boarding an American vessel and was familiar with the honors rendered.[74]

November 7, 1900

Convention of 1900

Consolidate the American possessions in the Sulu archipelago by including the islands of Sibutu and Cagayan, both of which had always formed part of the possessions of the Sulu sultanate.[75]

British North Borneo Company obtains from Sultan of Sulu even more territory.

Philippines, Borneo: 1901 London Atlas

Philippines, Borneo: 1901 London Atlas

December 3, 1900

In his State of the Union Message, William McKinley provides details on the Convention of 1900:

I feel that we should not suffer to pass any opportunity to reaffirm the cordial ties that existed between us and Spain from the time of our earliest independence, and to enhance the mutual benefits of that commercial intercourse which is natural between the two countries.

By the terms of the Treaty of Peace the line bounding the ceded Philippine group in the southwest failed to include several small islands lying westward of the Sulus, which have always been recognized as under Spanish control. The occupation of Sibutd and Cagayan Sulu by our naval forces elicited a claim on the part of Spain, the essential equity of which could not be gainsaid. In order to cure the defect of the treaty by removing all possible ground of future misunderstanding respecting the interpretation of its third article, I directed the negotiation of a supplementary treaty, which will be forthwith laid before the Senate, whereby Spain quits all title and claim of title to the islands named as well as to any and all islands belonging to the Philippine Archipelago lying outside the lines described in said third article, and agrees that all such islands shall be comprehended in the cession of the archipelago as fully as if they had been expressly included within those lines. In consideration of this cession the United States is to pay to Spain the sum of $100,000.

A bill is now pending to effect the recommendation made in my last annual message that appropriate legislation be had to carry into execution Article VII of the Treaty of Peace with Spain, by which the United States assumed the payment of certain claims for indemnity of its citizens against Spain. I ask that action be taken to fulfill this obligation.

Palawan, Sulu, Borneo Border, 1901 London Atlas

Palawan, Sulu, Borneo Border, 1901 London Atlas

George Cram 1902 Borneo Map

George Cram 1902 Borneo Map

Borneo, Palawan, Sulu, Spratleys: George Cram Map, 1902

Borneo, Palawan, Sulu, Spratleys: George Cram Map, 1902

December 1, 1902

The “Sultan of Sulu: a Musical Comedy” by George Ade and Alfred Wathall opens in Boston.76]

December 20, 1902

The “Sultan of Sulu: a Musical Comedy” by George Ade and Alfred Wathall is staged at Broadway’s Wallack’s Theatre.[77]

April 22, 1903

Additional $300 a year paid for a Confirmatory Deed stipulating that certain islands not specifically mentioned in the Deed of 1878 had in fact been always understood to be included therein.[78]

May 1903

The  musical on the Sultan of Sulu is published as “Sultan of Sulu: An Original Satire in Two Acts” (by George Ade) in New York by Robert Howard Russell[79]

December 16, 1903

Leonard Wood Governor of the Moro Province, reports to Governor-General Taft about problems of law and order.[80]

1904

Kiram-Bates Treaty is abrogated[81]because of the Sultan’s inability to maintain public order and the annual payment provided for therein were discontinued.

In conferences held with American officials, the Sultan repeatedly claimed that he had on no occassion abdicated or renounced his sovereignty. He continued to excercise his judicial prerogatives in the trial of both criminal and civil (cases) among the Moros in the Sulu archipelago.

March 21, 1904

The Philippine Commission concurs with Gen. Leonard Wood’s decision to abrogate the Kiram-Bates Treaty.

November 12, 1904

Act No. 1259 of the Philippine Commission.

The law provided for annual payments to the Sultan of Sulu and his advisors in view of the abrogation of the Bates-Kiram Treaty

April 12, 1905

Act No. 1320 of the Philippine Commission.

The law added Hadji Tahil and Hadji Sali to the recipients of the annual payments.

November 19, 1906

Note of the U.S. Department of State to the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.

…the US Department of State stated that Sabah was not an Imperial possession of the British Crown, that the British North Borneo Company which had leased Sabah from the Sultan of Sulu, did not have a national status, and that the company did not have an administration with the standing of a government[82]

March 11, 1915

American Authorities call the Sultan of Sulu to Zamboanga, “and directed (him) to bring with him his advisors and persons of his confidence.”[83]

March 13 – 22, 1915

Conferences with the Sultan of Sulu (in which “no nominal recognition was given to the Sultan’s cabinet or council”)[84]

March 22, 1915

Carpenter Agreement

Governor of Mindanao and Sulu Frank W. Carpenter signs an agreement with the Sultan of Sulu which relinquishes the Sultan’s, and his heirs’, right to temporal sovereignty, tax collection, and arbitration laws. In exchange, the Sultan gets an allowance, a piece of land and recognition as religious leader.[85]

From Francis Burton Harrison’s recommendation on the Carpenter Agreement in 1946:

The treaty “deprived the Sultan of his temporal sovereignty in the Philippine Archipelago, but did not intrench upon the Sultan’s claims of Sovereignty over the British North Borneo lands.”

On the Sultanate of Sulu: “The Sultanate of Sulu cannot be abolished, save by direct action or neglect of the Moros themselves.”[86]

May 4, 1915

Frank W. Carpenter, writing to the Bureau of Non-Christian Tribes, on the Temporal Sovereignty and Ecclesiastical Authority of the Sultanate of Sulu:

It is necessary, however, that there be clearly of official record the fact that the termination of the temporal sovereignty of the Sultanate of Sulu within the American territory is understood to be wholly without prejudice or effect as to the temporal sovereignty and ecclesiastical authority of the Sultanate beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the United States Government especially with reference to that portion of the island of Borneo which as a dependency of the Sultanate of Sulu is understood to be held under lease by the chartered company which is known as the British North Borneo Government…[87]

President Diosdado Macapagal wrote a letter to Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani dated May 1, 1989 and referred to this letter but set its date at May 4, 1920.[88]

British North Borneo Company attempts to have Sultan Jamalul Kiram to take up residence in Sandakan to acquire a good title to the ownership of the territories.

A palace was offered in Sandakan to place the Sultan of Sulu under their protection. On two occasions, Gov. Carpenter had to send the Chief of Police of Jolo to bring the Sultan back from attempting to go to Sandakan.[90]

May 23,1917

Bureau of Insular Affairs endorses to the War Department, a memo from British Ambassador dated May 17, 1917 asking for a copy of March 22, 1915 Carpenter Agreement[91]

May 16, 1917

Act No. 2722

Authorizing the Governor-General to reserve Public Lands not to exceed 4096 Hectares for the Sultan of Sulu and his direct heirs, and granting “the usufruct thereof to the said Sultan and his heirs.”

October 29, 1919

The Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society sends correspondence to the Colonial Office to call attention to the alleged ill-treatment of natives in North Borneo and presses for inquiry; submits statements of evidence given to the Society by Mr. R. B. Turner, Mr. de la Mothe, and Dr. Williams.[92]

November 8, 1919

Colonial Office reply to Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society states that with regards to the first subject of complaint there is no need for further investigation. The British North Borneo Co. are being communicated with to a view of an inquiry into the other allegations. [93]

March 5, 1920

The Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society to the Colonial Office expresses doubt that any advantage will accrue from an inquiry by the President of the British North Borneo Company and requests to discuss the charges personally with officials of the Company who have experience of present conditions[94]

April 8, 1920

The Colonial Office to Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society acknowledges receipt of correspondence dated March 5, 1920 and states the evidence adduced would not justify the Secretary of State in interfering in the administration of North Borneo[95]

July 16, 1920

The British North Borneo Co. to Colonial Office enclosed memorandum by the President of the Company showing the result of his inquiries into the allegations made by the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society; trusts the Secretary of State will endorse view of the Court of Directors that the result is to justify the administration of the Company and to exonerate them from charges brought against them.[96]

July 30, 1920

Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao as Special Agent of the Philippine Government ratifies her oath of loyalty and submission to the Philippines.[97]

August 24, 1920

British Colonial Office, to the Anti-Slavery and Aborigines Protection Society states that, after perusing the report by the British North Borneo Company, Lord Milner is of opinion that the charges made by the Society have been satisfactorily met and he therefore proposes to take no further action[98]

February 15, 1921

Senator Teopisto Guingona writes the Governor-General of the Philippines requesting for a copy of the 1878 treaty between the Sultan of Sulu and Alfred Dent and Overbeck.

The letter states that the current Sultan has lost his copy in “one of trips”.[99]

February 28, 1921

The Office of the Governor-General of the Philippines endorses Senator Guingona’s request to the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the United States War Department.[100]

April 14, 1921

The United States Secretary of War endorses the letter of Senator Guingona to the Secretary of State for proper action.[101]

April 22, 1921

Deputy Secretary of State acknowledges the receipt of the letter of request of the Secretary of War.[102]

May 18, 1923

Act No. 2722 amended by Act No. 3118.

Authorizing the Governor-General to grant the land to the Sultans heirs.

June 11, 1926

Bacon Bill

Rep. Bacon files bill to separate Mindanao from the Philippines. [103]

January 12, 1928

Act No. 3118 amended by Act No. 3430.

Allowed the grant of land situated in Basilan and adjacent islands.

January 2, 1930

The Boundaries Treaty of 1930

Clarifies which islands in the region belong to U.S. and which belong to the State of North Borneo; delimits the  boundary between the Philippine Archipelago (under U.S. sovereignty) and the State of North Borneo (under British protection) [104]

1931-1934

Jamalul Kiram is appointed Senator of the 12th Senatorial District.

July 4, 1931

The Sphere of London publishes Sultan Jamalul Kiram’s narration on the loss of his Treaty with the British North Borneo Company dated January 22, 1878, during his visit to Singapore (as stated in the Sultan’s letter addressed to Aleko E. Lilius, journalist for The Sphere).[105]

1933

Sultan Ombra, then only a datu and scion of royalty in Tawi-tawi married Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao.[106]

November 15, 1935

Philippine Commonwealth is inaugurated.

1935 Constitution

Article I, National Territory:

The Philippines comprises all the territory ceded to the United States by the Treaty of Paris concluded between the United States and Spain on the tenth day of December, eighteen hundred and ninety-eight, the limits which are set forth in Article III of said treaty, together with all the islands embraced in the treaty concluded at Washington between the United States and Spain on the seventh day of November, nineteen hundred, and the treaty concluded between the United States and Great Britain on the second day of January, nineteen hundred and thirty, and all territory over which the present Government of the Philippine Islands exercises jurisdiction.

June 11, 1936

Sultan of Sulu (Jamalul Kiram) dies and the question of the perpetuation of the Sultanate is raised. Sultan Muwallil Wasit succeeds his brother but dies before he was crowned.[107]

Brother is the claimant though his niece Dayang-Dayang, married to Datu Ombra, wishes to be Sultana. Quezon considers her to be the ablest of the Moros but Mohameddan law does not permit a woman to be Sultan. Harrison points out large portion of political sovereignty already surrendered to Wood in 1903 and Carpenter in 1915. Quezon to recognize Sultan only as the religious head. British North Borneo Company expressed interest because of the stipend paid by the Company to the Sultan.[108]

November 21, 1936

Sultan Muwallil Wasit dies.

January 29, 1937

Datu Ombra Amilbangsa is proclaimed Sultan of Sulu.

He is the husband of Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao. His title becomes Sultan Mohammed Amirul Ombra Amilbangsa. His Crown Prince is Esmail Kiram, having given up his own present pretentions to the Sultanate[109]

About the same time, Datu Tambuyong is proclaimed and crowned Sultan.

His title becomes Sultan Jainal Aberin. He chose Datu Buyungan, his brother and at the time, the husband of Tarhata Kiram, as Crown Prince.[110]

1937-1950

While Esmail Kiram I did not assume the throne, Dayang Dayang makes her husband, Datu Ombra Amilbangsa, Sultan. Datu Tambuyong is also crowned Sultan but by opposing Moro leaders.

Datu Ombra is named Sultan Amirul Ombra Amilbangsa; Datu Tambuyong is crowned Sultan Jainal Aberin. The two claimed the sultanate from 1937-1950.[111]

May 9, 1937

Through the efforts of Dayang Dayang, the British resume payment of lease. [112]

September 20, 1937

Memorandum on Administration of Affairs in Mindanao of President Quezon to Secretary Quirino.

Titles of Datus and Sultans are recognized but have no Official Rights and Powers[113]

October 2, 1937

Representative of Sulu Datu Amilbangsa writes to President Quezon.

Datu Amilbangsa claims that the policy as released covering this subject was most unnecessary, as the non-recognition has already taken effect since the abrogation of the Bates Treaty and the implantation of the Civil Government in the regions referred to. [114]

October 8, 1937

Three-point policy for Mindanao and Sulu letter from the Executive Secretary Jorge Vargas to the Representative of Sulu Datu Amilbangsa.

Jorge Vargas communicates President Manuel L. Quezon’s policy to recognize the titles of Datus and Sultans but no official rights and powers.[115]

October 1939

Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao and the eight heirs of the late Sultan of Sulu request Calixto de Leon as their legal counsel to go to Borneo to bring back the decision from the British Court.[116]

December 18, 1939

High Court of the State of North Borneo hands down decision in Civil Suit No. 169/39. In it, North Borneo Chief Justice C.F.C. Mackaskie stated that the heirs of the Sultan were legally entitled the payment for North Borneo, which the decision calls “cession payment” on the basis of an English translation by Maxwell and Gibson.

In the same decision, Mackaskie renders an obiter dictum opinion or side note, that the Philippine Government is the successor-in-sovereignty to the Sultanate of Sulu.

This obiter dictum however, does not establish a legal precedent, and was furthermore based on a report from the British Consul in Manila, claiming that the Commonwealth Government had abolished the Sultanate of Sulu

Note: The first to challenge the Maxwell & Gibson translation used by the High Court of the State of North Borneo is Francis Burton Harrison, who pointed out in 1946-47 that Chief Justice Mackaskie used the British translation of the North Borneo agree which stated that the land was ceded; he submits a different translation by Prof. Conklin, obtained through H. Otley Beyer. [117]

December 20, 1939

Account of the Cession Money now due and payable to the heirs of the late Sultan of Sulu signed by W.A. C. Smelt, Treasurer, in Sandakan.[118]

March 8, 1940

Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao relinquishes absolutely and forever all her existing and future claims against the Government of the Philippines, except for claims of ownership to certain islands located between Borneo and Sulu[119]

April 4, 1940

Dayang Dayang renounces her claim against the Philippine Government over the Sultanate of Sulu.[120]

May 6, 1940

British Consul-General S. Wyatt-Smith sends a reply to the Office of the United States High Commissioner, relative to the judgment in the suit filed by Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao Kiram and eight others claiming to be the heirs of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram versus the Government of North Borneo. The letter encloses a copy of the judgment and a statement of account showing the distribution of the payment to the heirs.[121]

May 7, 1940

Secretary to the President Jorge B. Vargas sends a letter to United States High Commissioner enclosing a copy of the following documents:

  1. Document dated July 30, 1920 relative to Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao’s employment as Special Agent of the Philippine Government;
  2. Copy of the declaration of Dayang Dayang Hadji Piandao dated March 8, 1940, relinquishing absolutely and forever all her existing and future claims against the Government of the Philippines.[122]

May 9, 1940

The Office of the United States High Commissioner sends letter to the U.S. Division of Territories and Island Possessions enclosing the following:

  1. Letter from Jorge Vargas to the Office of the U.S. High Commissioner dated May 7, 1940;
  2. Copy of the decision of the High Court of the State of North Borneo with letter of British Consulate General dated May 6, 1940[123]

September 6, 1940

United States High Commissioner Francis B. Syre, after a trip to Mindanao and Sulu, said that the he was going to look into the matter of the lease and that “the matter is very much alive”.[124]

1942-1945

World War II

1943: Quezon's Proposed Union with Indonesia

1943: Quezon’s Proposed Union of the Philippines and Indonesia (marked in blue on map)

1946

Malayan Union Created

Provinces included:

  • Federated Malayan States
  • Unfederated Malayan States (Johor, Kedah, Kalantan, Perils, Terengganu)
  • Malacca
  • Penang[125]

June 18, 1946

American attorneys representing the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu denounce British action of annexation of North Borneo calling it an unauthorized act of agression.[126]

June 26, 1946

British North Borneo Company cedes colony to the Crown. Thus, annexing North Borneo to the British Empire.[127]

July 4, 1946

Inauguration of the Third Philippine Republic.

July 16, 1946

British Government annexed the territory of North Borneo as a Crown Colony[128]

September 19, 1946

Vice President and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Elpidio Quirino requests from the Embassy of the Philippines in Washington the following documents:

  1. Photostatic copy of the 1878 lease of Borneo lands of Sultan of Sulu;
  2. Documents containing records in any way related to the rights of the former Sultan of Sulu over certain territories in northern Borneo;
  3. Copy of a book entitled, History of Sulu and Acquisition of Borneo by Carl M. Moore.[129]

September 26, 1946

Presidential Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Francis Burton Harrison, writes a recommendation to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Philippines should launch a protest against Britain’s annexation.

Francis Burton Harrison was former American Governor-General of the Philippines. He became a Filipino Citizen in 1936 and was an advisor on Foreign Affairs to President Manuel Roxas.[130]

October 10, 1946

Narciso Ramos reports to Secretary of Foreign Affairs Elpidio Quirino on the status of his search for the book History of Sulu and Acquisitions of Borneo by Carl M. Moore and photostatic copy of the Deed of Lease (in Arabic characters) executed in 1878 by the Sultan of Sulu over certain properties located in northern Borneo.[131]

November 25, 1946

“Sarawak Case to be Placed before U.N.”

The case of the annexation of North Borneo was placed in the agenda of the United Nations by a group of British citizens who declined to be a part of the British Empire.[132]

December 8, 1946

Francis Burton Harrison writes a second memorandum on the government of the Sultanate of Sulu. See H. Otley Beyer Brief memorandum on the government of the Sultanate of Sulu and powers of the Sultan during the 19th century.

In the memorandum, Francis Burton Harrison mentions that he asked a Professor Otley Beyer to translate the original lease of North Borneo. Beyer translates it as the land being Leased and not as ceded.[133]

December 11, 1946

Memorandum of Eduardo Quintero to a Dr. Gamboa from Washington D.C.

In the memorandum Quintero points out that there are three existing translations of the lease. The first is the Maxwell & Gibson Translation used in the Macaskie decision. The Second in the translation of Prof. Conklin stating that the contract was a lease. The third translation by Dr. Saleeby in the book “History of Sulu”. Quintero concludes that the  contract entered into by Dent and Overbeck was a lease and not a cession because it was similarly worded with the contract entered into by Claude Lee Moses and Joseph W. Torrey.[134]

December 13, 1946

Ambassador Joaquin Elizalde responds to Vice President Quirino’s request dated September 19, 1946 by enclosing the requested documents pertinent to the North Borneo case.[135]

February 27, 1947

Francis Burton Harrison: Recommendation to Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Vice President Elpidio Quirino:

The action of the British Government in announcing on the 16th of July (1946), just 12 days after the inauguration of the Republic of the Philippines, a step taken by the British Government unilaterally, and without any special notice to the Sultanate of Sulu, nor consideration of their legal rights, was an act of political aggression, which should be promptly repudiated by the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. The proposal to lay this case before the United Nations should bring the whole matter before the bar of world opinion.[137]

October 9, 1947

Washington, D.C.: Memorandum signed by J.P. Melencio.

Melencio recommends that the recommendations of the Francis Burton Harrison be followed. He further recommends that the Philippine government talk to the British government as to the basis of their annexation of North Borneo. Once all the legal documents are compiled, Melencio recommends that the matter be brought up to the International Court of Justice.[138]

January 31, 1948

The Federation of Malaya was created.

Malay States became British Protectorates.

Malacca and Penang remained as British Colonies.[139]

January 6 – May 11, 1950

A confidential memorandum was sent to Carlos P. Romulo via acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Felino Neri.

An attorney Calixto de Leon, asked for certification in connection with a power of attorney that heirs request the money due from the British goverment.

De Leon further revealed that Judge Antonio Quirino, brother of President Elpidio Quirino, holds a power of attorney from the heirs to transfer or sell their right to North Borneo and is about to consummate and agreement with a third party.

1950-1974

Sultan Esmail Kiram assumes the throne until his death in 1974.

April 28, 1950

House of Representatives approved Concurrent Resolution No. 42 expressing the

sense of the Congress of the Philippines that North Borneo belongs to the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu and the ultimate sovereignty of the Republic of the Philippines and authorizing the President (Elpidio Quirino) to conduct negotiations for the restoration of such ownership and sovereign jurisdiction over said territory.

The Senate did not approve the Resolution.

Reps. Macapagal (Pampanga), Rasul (Mindanao and Sulu), Escarreal (Samar), Cases (La Union), Tizon (Samar), Tolentino (Manila), and Lacson (Manila) author the Resolution. [140]

September 4, 1950

Philippines advised British Government that a dispute regarding ownership and sovereignty over North Borneo existed between the two countries.[141]

September 11, 1950

British Government in a formal diplomatic note to the Department of Foreign Affairs states its position on the North Borneo Case.

The position is stated thus: British North Borneo is held by the British Crown in full sovereignty ; it is not leased either from the said private heirs (the heirs of the Sultan) or from any other party or parties whomsoever; consequently, the annual sum of Malayan $5300 which have been paid to those persons are not ‘rentals’ but disbursements of cession money which the Government of North Borneo have freely undertaken to make[142]

November 27, 1951

Luis Sabater, Legislative Counsel and Chief of Legislative Reference Service consults DFA Legal Adviser Atty. Eduardo Quintero on the title and rights to North Borneo of the heirs of Sultan of Sulu in connection with the proposed bill for the purchase by the Philippine Government of the lands owned in British North Borneo by the aforementioned heirs of the Sultan of Sulu (authored by Representative Leon Cabarroguis).[143]

December 11, 1951

Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo hands the Quintero report and memorandum for President Quirino stating the recommendation of the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the North Borneo case:

  1. Increased payment;
  2. Claim of  sovereignty.[144]

DFA recommendations:

  1. Increased payment: “prospects are very encouraging” to revise payments;
  2. Claim of  sovereignty: “prospects are not so bright” based on British government response and that Philippines had never declared itself a successor-in-interest to the Sultanate of Sulu, therefore, claim must be pursued through heirs of the Sultan.

February 1, 1952

Atty. Eduardo Quintero informs Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo through a memorandum that according to the report of Judge Guingona, the territorial possessions of the Sultan of Sulu in North Borneo contains an area of 31,000 square miles, with 300,000 inhabitants and that the British Government can realize 9 million dollars annually from forest products alone.[145]

October 16, 1952

V. Diamonon sends a letter to Atty. Eduardo Quintero stating the request of Congressman Escareal for a copy of the North Borneo documents.[146]

November 3, 1952

Eduardo Quintero sends Memorandum for Mr. Holigores forwarding confidential documents on the Sultan of Sulu Case.[147]

August 30, 1955

Vice President Carlos P. Garcia and the British Ambassador to Manila signed an agreement that provided for the employment and settlement of 5,000 skilled and unskilled Filipino agriculturists and miners in North Borneo.

Agreement not implemented as North Borneo employers feared multiple suits arising from claims of Filipino laborers: they had found a sizable number of Indonesians willing to work on a temporary basis.[148]

January 1957

Governor of North Borneo visits Manila to implement the 1955 labor treaty.

500-man delegation of Filipino Muslims present resolution to President Ramon Magsaysay calling for direct negotiations with the British to return North Borneo to the Philippines. Magsaysay did not act on the resolution.

British response: United Kingdom High Commissioner for Southeast Asia said it would not take seriously the demands of Moros in the Philippines for certain areas of North Borneo.[149]

July 31, 1957

The Federation of Malaya Act was signed.

The Federation of Malaya was established as a sovereign country within the British Commonwealth.[150]

November 25, 1957

 

Muhammad Esmail Kiram, Sultan of Sulu, issued a proclamation declaring the termination of the Overbeck and Dent lease, effective January 22, 1958.

All lands were to be deemed restituted henceforth to the Sultanate of Sulu.[151]

1957

A syndicate headed by Nicasio Osmeña acting as attorney-in-fact for the heirs, attempted without success to negotiate with the British Foreign Office for a lump sum payment of $15 million in full settlement of the lease agreement.[152]

August 31, 1957

Peninsular Malaya granted independence by Britain.[153]

May 27, 1961

Inclusion of North Borneo (Sabah) in the concept of Malaysia after the UK talks.

It was during this time when then President Diosdado Macapagal was forced to initiate the filing of the Philippine claim in North Borneo (Sabah) as it was being considered as a member of the proposed concept of Malaysia broached by Prime Minister Tengku Abduk Rahman in Singapore. [154]

Tunku Abdul Rahman, Prime Minister of the Federation of Malaya, formally announced the idea of “Greater Malaysia” in a speech at the Conference of Foreign Journalists’ Association of Southeast Asia held at the Adelphi Hotel, Singapore. This was a plan to bring Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak together in political and economic cooperation.[155]

Prime Minister Tunku delivers a speech about the need to establish a plan to bring the Federation of Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo, Brunei and Sarawak into a form of political and economic cooperation. He also proposes the establishment of Malaysia.[156]

July 23, 1961

The Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee was established for the purpose of explaining to the people of North Borneo, Sarawak and Brunei about the establishment of Malaysia.[157]

August 1961

Inaugural meeting of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee was held in Sabah.[158]

November 1961

Negotiations between the Federation of Malaya and the British Government.[159]

November 20- 22, 1961

Negotiations between the Malaya and British governments took place, concluding with a joint statement on the creation of Malaysia.[160]

Two conditions were also set: first, that the views of the peoples of North Borneo and Sarawak should be ascertained,[161] and that the Anglo-Malayan Defence Agreement of 1957 should be extended to all territories of the new federation.

December 18- 20, 1961

Second meeting of the Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee was held in Kuching, Sarawak.[162]

January 6-7, 1962

The Third Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee meeting was held in the Selangor Legislative Assembly Chamber, Kuala Lumpur.[163]

January 17, 1962

Formation of the Cobbold Commission.[164]

The Commission was tasked explore the views of communities in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak on the idea of Malaysia. The Commission comprises of five members, chaired by Lord Cobbold, a former governor of the Bank of England, its members comprises of Dato’ Wong Pow Nee and Encik Mohd Ghazali bin Shafie, representing the government of Malaya, while Sir Anthony Abell and Sir David Watherston , the representative of the British government. Mr. H. Harris acted as the Secretary.[165]

The Commission of Enquiry in North Borneo and Sarawak Regarding Malaysian Federation is established to survey the views of the communities in North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak on the idea of Malaysia. It is also known as the Cobbold Commission, after its chairman Lord Cobbold (a former governor of the Bank of England). The other members of the Commission are Dato’ Wong Pow Nee and Encik Mohd Ghazali bin Shafie, representing the Federation of Malaya, and Sir Anthony Abell and Sir David Watherston, representing the British government.[166]

See CO 947 summary of records in British National Archives. See also Regina Lim, Federal-State Relations in Sabah, Malaysia: The Berjaya Administration, 1976-85. Also, Alistair Morison, Fair Land Sarawak: Some Recollections of an Expatriate Officer. The Malaysian official view is in Penubuhan Malaysia 1963.

February 3-4, 1962

The Fourth Malaysia Solidarity Consultative Committee Meeting.

February 5, 1962

Attorneys of the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu wrote to the Department of Foreign Affairs with the desire to have the territory included as part of the national territory of the Republic of the Philippines;

Ortiz: J.C. Orendain, acting as counsel for the heirs – regain proprietary rights to North Borneo and that sovereignty be turned over to the Philippine Republic.[167]

April 24, 1962

Heirs of the Sultan of Sulu ceded sovereignty rights over North Borneo to the Philippine Government.[168]

Resolution No. 321 unanimously adopted by House of Representatives, urging President Macapagal to take the necessary steps for the recovery of North Borneo (Sabah).

Filed by Rep. Godofredo Ramos (Aklan) the resolution read: “It is the sense of the House of Representatives that the claim to North Borneo is legal and valid.”

April 25, 1962

President Macapagal called Sultan Mohammad Esmail Kiram to Malacañan Palace to discuss the Philippine Claim on North Borneo.

 Acceptance by the Republic of the Philippines, represented by Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs Salvador P. Lopez of the cession and transfer of territory of North Borneo.[169]

April 29, 1962

Ruma Bechara advised Sultan Esmail Kiram to cede to the Republic of the Philippines the territory of North Borneo, and the full sovereignty, title and dominion over the territory, without prejudice to such proprietary rights as the heirs of Sultan Jamalul Kiram may have.[170]

May 25, 1962

British Government sends a note to the Philippines asserting its claim on Sabah; says no dispute on sovereignty and ownership of Sabah.

Note is sent by British Ambassador to the Vice President and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Emmanuel Pelaez.[171]

June 21, 1962

Signing of the Report of the Commission of Enquiry, North Borneo and Sarawak, at Knebworth House, London.

June 22, 1962

Acting Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Salvador P. Lopez, handed a note to the British Ambassador to Manila asserting the Philippine claim on North Borneo.

In implementation of House Resolution 321.[172]

July 21, 1962

The Cobbold Commission submits its report to the British Government and the Federation of Malaya. Both governments accept and adopt their recommendations.

August 2, 1962

See aide-memoire: DFA meeting with Malayan ambassador.

August 7, 1962

British Government reply to June 22, 1962 note of Philippines again asserting its sovereignty over North Borneo

Note is sent by Secretary of State to Philippine Ambassador in London.[173]

August 29, 1962

Resolution of the Ruma Bechara of Sulu authorizing the Sultan-in-council to transfer his title and sovereignty over the inhabitants and territory of North Borneo to the Republic of the Philippines

September 11, 1962

President Diosdado Macapagal issues special authorization in favor of Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez to formally accept, on behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, the cession or transfer of sovereignty over the territory of North Borneo by Sultan Mohammad Esmail Kiram, Sultan of Sulu.[174]

September 12, 1962

Heirs of the Sultan of Sulu cede all rights, proprietary, title, dominion and sovereignty to the Republic of the Philippines.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs sends Note to British Ambassador asserting that the Philippine claim subsists despite the London agreements including North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia.[175]

September 27, 1962

Vice-President Emmanuel Pelaez addresses the United Nations General Assembly:

We stand on what we consider to be valid legal and historical grounds. Our claim has been put forward with sincere assurance of our desire that the issue be settled by peaceful means, and without prejudice to the exercise of the right of self-determination by the inhabitants of North Borneo, preferably under United Nations auspices.[176]

October 3, 1962

See Malayan aide-memoire: North Borneo is a PHL-UK issue.

December 1962

Legislative Council of North Borneo election.[177]

111 seats candidates were elected. 96 of the elected representatives were in favor of joining the Federation of Malaysia. A few favored complete independence and none favored joining the Philippines.

December 29, 1962

Joint UK-PHL Statement after consultations:

 The Philippine and British Governments being vitally concerned in the security and stability of South East Asia, have decided to hold conversations about questions and problems of mutual interest. The British Government have responded to the Philippine Government’s desire for talks, first expressed in their note of June 22, by inviting the Philippine Government to send a delegation to London for consultations at a mutually convenient date in January, 1963. Recent developments have made such conversations, in the spirit of the Manila Treaty (SEATO) and the Pacific Charter (U.N.), highly desirable.[178]

January 26, 1963

Indonesian President Sukarno pledges support to the Philippines[179]

January 28, 1963

President Macapagal restates Philippine position on Sabah in his SONA.[180]

 

The situation is that the Philippines not only has a valid and historic claim to North Borneo. In addition, the pursuit of the claim is itself vital to our national security.

Principle of Self-Determination

In laying claim to North Borneo in pursuance of the legal and historic rights and the security interests of the Philippines, we recognize the cardinal principle of self-determination of which the Philippines has been a steadfast adherent. In the prosecution, of our valid claim, it is agreeable to us that at an appropriate time, the people of North Borneo should be given an opportunity to determine whether they would wish to be independent or whether they would wish to be a part of the Philippines or be placed under another state. Such referendum, however, should be authentic and bona fide by holding it under conditions, preferably supervised by the United Nations that would insure effective freedom to the people of North Borneo to express their true and enlightened will.[181]

January 28 – February 1, 1963

Talks between British and Philippine Governments held in London: see opening statement by Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez.

Philippines panel composed of Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Pelaez, Usec. Salvador P. Lopez, Defense Secretary Macario Peralta, Justice Secretary Juan Liwag, Senator Raul Manglapus, Rep. Jovito Salonga and Godofredo Ramos, and Amb. Eduardo Quintero.[182]

February 1, 1963

Joint Final Communique issued by the Philippines and the United Kingdom stating both their claims.[183]

March 25, 1963

Senator Sumulong dissented to the filing of the Philippine claim to Sabah. Suggested voluntarily relinquishing whatever claims of sovereignty.

Sumulong says the claim was “tardily presented to the United Nations.” He pointed out that our claim did not specify the particular portion of North Borneo covered by it.[184]

March 30, 1963

Rep. Salonga (Rizal) responds to Senator Sumulong.

Claim is of the entire Republic based on respect for the rule of law, the sanctity of contractual obligations, the sacredness of facts, and the relentless logic of our situation in this part of the world.[185]

June 3, 1963

Philippines and Malaysia agree to raise their respective consulates to ambassadorial level.

June 7 – 11, 1963

Discussion between the foreign affairs secretaries of the Federation of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

The meeting resulted in the drafting of the Manila Accord.[186]

July 9, 1963

Malaysia Agreement was signed.

Article I provided for the creation of the Federation of Malaysia which included the colonies of Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak.[187]

DFA writes to Malayan embassy asking Malaya to help secure British approval for resolving North Borneo claim through the International Court of Justice.

July 30 – August 5, 1963

MAPHILINDO (Malaya, Philippines, Indonesia) is formed, a loose consultative body among the three countries.

July 31, 1963

Manila Accord is signed.

Indonesia, the Federation of Malaya, and the Philippines sign a policy statement agreeing to peacefully resolve the issue on North Borneo.

Ministers of the country agree to the creation of Malaysia with the support of the people of North Borneo to be ascertained by an independent body. (UN Secretary General).[188]

August 5, 1963

Joint Statement by the Philippines, the Federation of Malaya, and Indonesia.

The United Nations Secretary-General or his representative should ascertain prior to the establishment of the Federation of Malaysia the wishes of the people of Sabah (North Borneo) and Sarawak within the context of General Assembly.

A joint communiqué was issued by the foreign ministers of Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines stating that the inclusion of North Borneo in the Federation of Malaysia “would not prejudice either the Philippine claim or any right thereunder.”[189]

Foreign Affairs Secretary Salvador P. Lopez tries to get British Government to enter into a special arrangement to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice[190]

August 8, 1963

Two United Nations teams were sent to Sarawak and Sabah to ascertain the wishes of the population with regard to joining the Federation of Malaysia.[191]

August 14, 1963

United Nations Secretary-General Report confirming that majority of the population of Sabah and Sarawak wished to join the Federation of Malaysia.[192]

August 16 – September 5, 1963

The United Nations Malaysia Mission was sent to Sabah and Sarawak in order to assess if their population agreed in joining Malaysia.

August 21, 1963

Philippines proposes to Britain to submit question of North Borneo to the International Court of Justice. Philippines also informs Malayan government but receives no response.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs writes to Indonesian counterpart: on Indonesian assistance for Philippine claim to be submitted to International Court of Justice.

September 9, 1963

British reply that the Philippines has abandoned its proposal to submit case to International Court of Justice and points out: “in view of the July 9 Agreement signed by Britain, Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore concerning establishment of the Federation of Malaysia.”[193] 

September 10, 1963

The Secretary-General’s representative, Laurence Michelmore, submitted UN Malaysian Mission’s report to Secretary-General U Thant. Among the members were Mr. George Howard; Mr. Kenneth K.S. Dadzie; Mr. George Janecek.

See: UN Photo Release, September 10, 1963. 

Deputy Representative of the Secretary-General; and Mr. Neville Kanakaratne. Glasgow Herald (September 12, 1963) reported Commission’s findings:

100 per cent. of the population of North Borneo and 75 per cent. of the population of Sarawak supported formation of the federation.

September 13, 1963

Report of the United Nations Malaysia Mission.[194]

September 14, 1963

United Nations Secretary-General U Thant, in his final conclusions to the General Assembly, acknowledged that there were “certain irregularities” in the procedure of the UN mission but nevertheless said there is no doubt of the wishes of a sizeable majority of the peoples of these territories to join the Federation of Malaysia:

Having reflected fully on these considerations, and taking into account the framework within which the Mission’s task was performed, I have come to the conclusion that the majority of the peoples of Sabah (North Borneo) and of Sarawak, have given serious and thoughtful consideration to their future, and to the implications for them of participation in a Federation of Malaysia. I believe that the majority of them have concluded that they wish to bring their dependent status to an end and to realize their independence through freely chosen association with other peoples in their region with whom they feel ties of ethnic association with other peoples in their region with whom they feel ties of ethnic association, heritage, language, religion, culture, economic relationship, and ideals and objectives. Not all of these considerations are present in equal weight in all minds, but it is my conclusion that the majority of the peoples of the two territories, having taken them into account, wish to engage, with the peoples of the Federation of Malaya and Singapore, in an enlarged Federation of Malaysia through which they can strive together to realize the fulfilment of their destiny.

September 16, 1963

Federation of Malaysia came into being as a sovereign state, with North Borneo as one of the component states.

Since the new State of Malaysia succeeded to the interests of the British Crown in Sabah, the Philippine claim had to be pursued against Malaysia.[195]

President Diosdado Macapagal, after conferring with congressional leaders and foreign policy advisers, decided to withhold recognition of the federation until the Philippines gets formal assurances that the new Malaysia would uphold the Manila accord.[196]

Indonesia assures the Philippines it supports the Philippine position to resolve the matter in the International Court of Justice.

September 17, 1963

Philippines refused to recognize Malaysia.

Both the Philippines and Indonesia rejected the UN findings and broke off diplomatic relations with Kuala Lumpur.[197]

1963

Referendum is conducted in North Borneo. People of North Borneo choose to join Malaysia[198]

November 22, 1963

Jose Imperial memorandum to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (see entry for 1900) on the article “Jolo Jollities” dated March 24, 1900, the Sultan of Sulu was honored with a 17-gun (Cabinet Secretary level) salute when he visited an American transport and was familiar with the honors rendered to him. This excerpt contradicts Francis Burton Harrison’s account that the honors rendered to the Sultan of Sulu was a 19-gun salute (Head of Government level).[199]

January 11, 1964

Sukarno-Macapagal Joint Statement.[200]

February 5 – 10, 1964

Attempts of allies (including the U.S.A.) to mediate among the three MAPHILINDO countries result in a series of talks in Bangkok.[201]

February 1964

Macapagal and Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Raman met in Phnom Penh. As a result, Tunku agreed to elevate the Sabah dispute to the World Court if he could get the Sabah leaders to go along.[202]

March 3-6, 1964

Attempts of allies (including the U.S.A.) to mediate among the three MAPHILINDO countries result in a series of talks in Tokyo.[203]

May 18, 1964

Establishment of Philippine-Malaysia Diplomatic Relations by the creation of a Consulate in Kuala Lumpur.

November 19, 1964

A proposal was made by the Philippines to submit the dispute to the International Court of Justice as a token of their adherence to the rule of law and the UN Charter.[204]

August 9, 1965

Singapore is expelled from the Federation of Malaysia.

February 7, 1966

Philippines reiterates Philippine position on North Borneo as stated in Manila Accord and proposes discussion on a mode of settlement for the issue. Malaysia notes the Philippine proposal.

June 3, 1966

Malaysia reiterates its willingness to abide by the Manila Accord and the Joint Statement of August 5, 1963.[205]

April 1967

Legislative Assembly election in North Borneo.[206]

32 seats were contested during the elections with the Philippines and Indonesia being invited to observe. The Indonesian government sent observers to the elections while the Philippines did not.

31 were elected with the platform of rejecting the Philippine claim over North Borneo.

Indonesia accepted the results of the elections and recognized Sabah and Sarawak as parts of Malaysia. The Philippines rejected the results and insisted on prosecuting the claim over North Borneo. The Philippines previously sent observers to the UNMM conducted in 1962.

August 8, 1967

Establishment of ASEAN.[207]

September 1, 1967

Agreement on anti-smuggling cooperation between Malaysia and the Philippines and  Protocol to Agreement on Anti-Smuggling Cooperation Between Malaysia and the Philippines signed in Kuala Lumpur.

December 17, 1967

Recruits, 200 Tausug and Sama Muslims aged 18 to 30, for Operation Merdeka arrive at Simunul, Tawi-Tawi.[208]

December 20 – 21, 1967

Troops accept their mission in Sabah. They  were told to  start the trouble in Sabah. Then, when there is trouble in Malaysia, and they will complain to the United Nations, the President of the Philippines, Ferdinand E. Marcos, will say that the Philippine Muslims are claiming. But the Philippine government will make it appear that members of the Jabidah unit are not real soldiers but soldiers of the Muslim Sultans.[209]

December 30, 1967

Jabidah unit leaves Simunul, Sulu for Corregidor.[210]

January 3, 1968

Recruits were brought to Corregidor for training on guerrilla tactics in preparation for “Operation Merdeka,” then a top-secret plan of the Marcos administration to invade the east Malaysian state of Sabah which the Philippine claimed as part of its territory. The idea was: cause unrest, giving Philippines reason to intervene.[211]

Members of the Jabidah Unit agree to write a petition to Malacañang for the payment of their stipend.[212]

March 3, 1968

Three members of the unit are taken purportedly brought to Manila.[213]

March 18, 1968

Jabidah Massacre.

Their training officers fired at them before dawn after an attempt by the trainees to air their grievances against the officers to Malacañang.[214]

March 27, 1968

Constancio B. Maglana delivered a privilege speech in the House of Representatives on the Philippine claim on Sabah.

Constancio B. Maglana, a member of the House of Representatives published Sabah is Philippines (1969), and in a privilege speech, apart from laying the basis for the Philippine claim, also advocated the prosecution of the claim.[215]

March 28, 1968

Operation Merdeka Exposé in a privilege speech of Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr.[216]

Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. exposed President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ plan to create an infiltration unit (Jabidah Unit) to sneak into Sabah and cause chaos. Senator Aquino accuses President Marcos of unconstitutional acts and imperiled foreign relations. At this point, only 31 people were missing from the failed Operation Merdeka.

March 29,1968

Senate Minority Floor Leader Ambrosio Padilla reveals a document dated February 1, 1968, which was a power of attorney executed by the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu in favor of President Marcos, recognizing the authority and power of the President to represent them in the settlement of their proprietary rights over Sabah.[217]

Press Secretary Jose Aspiras announced that the authority had been given to the President as Chief Executive[218]

Malacañang released another document, also dated February 1, 1968, in which the President Ferdinand Marcos transferred to Foreign Affairs Secretary Narciso Ramos, in his official capacity, the authority conferred by the heirs of the President.[219]

June 17, 1968

Talks between the Philippines and Malaysia opened in Bangkok.

Philippine panel composition: Ambassador Gauttier Bisnar, Amb. Eduardo Quintero, Dr. Florentino Feliciano, Amb. Leon Ma. Guerrero and Amb. Mauro Caluigo (Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia)

Delegation’s Term of Reference: Only one mode of settlement — elevating the dispute to the World Court.[220]

July 15, 1968

Malaysia rejects Philippine claim:

“The position of my Government is that the Philippines has no claim at all, that there is nothing to settle, and that there is nothing more to talk about.”[221]

July 16, 1968

Amb. Leon Ma. Guerrero responds to Malaysian rejection.

Says the Malaysian Ambassador’s “unipersonal rejection” has “single-handedly brought our two countries to the most serious crisis in their relations.”[222]

July 20, 1968

Upon advice of the Foreign Policy Council, President Ferdinand E. Marcos breaks diplomatic relations with Malaysia.[223]

July 21, 1968

President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued a policy statement about the Philippine claim.

In radio-television chat, a day after the withdrawal of diplomatic representative in Kuala Lumpur, President Ferdinand E. Marcos, reiterated the Philippine government’s peaceful policy in its efforts to pursue the claim and advocated the recourse of filing the case at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).[224]

August 28, 1968

Senate Bill No. 954 that delinates the baselines of the Philippines and provides that “the territory of Sabah, situated in North Borneo, over which the Republic of the Philippines has acquired dominion and sovereignty.”

Sent to the President for approval.[225]

Admiral Michael Carver, Commander-in-Chief of the British forces in the Far East said his troops, ships and planes “stand squarely behind Malaysia in the growing crises with the Philippines over Northern Sabah.”[226]

September 18, 1968

Upon the recommendation of the Foreign Policy Council, President Marcos signs Senate Bill No. 954. It became  Republic Act No. 5446.[227]

US State Department Press Officer Robert J. McCloskey said the U.S. recognized the ownership of Malaysia over Sabah.

Reactions:

Senator Roy: “a sneak betrayal of a friend and ally.”

Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr: disappointment over Washington’s “shabby and painful treatment” of the Philippines.

Senator Ziga: U.S. action would make it lose friends in the Philippines[228]

Marcos called U.S. Ambassador R.G. Mennen Williams and secured assurance that U.S. would abide by her treaty commitment to defend the Philippines in case of British or Malaysian attack.

1,000 students from the University of Malaya invaded the compound of the Philippine embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

They stoned the building, pulled down the Philippine flag from its pole and trampled upon it[229]

October 5, 1968

Senator Benigno S. Aquino, Jr., in a speech before a civic group, denounced President Marcos’ actions toward Sabah.[230]

In his speech, Senator Aquino, referring to the incident at Corregidor, called out President Marcos on the massacre of the Jabidah unit. Also in his speech, the senator, quoted Senator Juan R. Liwag that R.A. 5446 did not include Sabah as a part of the Philippines:

(Liwag): There is nothing in the law which has physically incorporated or annexed Sabah to the territory of the Philippines. The law does not provide for an effective annexation of Sabah. This was not intended by our lawmakers. The law does not delineate Sabah to form part of Philippine territory for the present. The provision in question merely provides for a future delineation of the baselines of the territorial sea covering Sabah if and when the territory shall have come within our physical control.

Senator Aquino cited the right of the people of Sabah to self-determination which was shown during the referendum of 1963. The Senator quoted President Macapagal in 1963 where he said that the Philippines recognizes the principle of self-determination.

His speech ended by citing the elections that were held in Sabah in recent years.

October 15, 1968

23rd Session of the UN General Assembly, the Philippines and Malaysia tangled in a debate on the North Borneo (Sabah) Issue.

PHL policy statement: bring issue up to World Court, consistent with the Manila Accord agreement.

Malaysia policy statement:

The people of Sabah had shown their desire to be with the Federation of Malaysia; upheld the British title to Sabah based on, ‘continuous occupation, administration and exercise of sovereignty, which by itself in international law, is sufficient as a good title;’ there is no Philippine claim therefore nothing to discuss.[231]

December 1968

Malaysia proposed that the Philippines recognize her sovereignty over Sabah as a condition for the normalization of Philippine-Malaysian diplomatic relations, without prejudice to the Philippines pursuing her claim.[232]

January 22, 1969

President Ferdinand E. Marcos declares in SONA: Philippine claim to North Borneo is justified based on legal, historical, and moral grounds:

We will pursue the claim peacefully in keeping with the spirit of previous understandings with Malaysia and in accordance with the principles of national law. The claim is in the national interest and we intend to pursue it by making use of all available peaceful resources. We are encouraged by the fact that many of our Asian friends are helping in the search for a modus vivendi between the Philippines and Malaysia.

March 20, 1969

Ambassador Quintero receives from the Department of Foreign Affairs copies of documents pertaining to the search for the original deed of 1978. The documents cover 1921 – 1940.[233]

April 11, 1969

Certified true copy of Volume 4, pages 349 – 361 of the Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States from the U.S. Archive signed by U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers.[234]

April 16, 1969

Jose F. Imperial, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Philippine Embassy in Washington, writes the Secretary of Foreign Affairs with enclosed authenticated copies of Volume 4, pages 349 – 361 of the Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States.[235]

December 1969

Diplomatic relations between Malaysia and the Philippines formally resume as a result of a discussion between PM Tunku Abdul Rahman and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo.

1971

In Under the Crescent Moon by Marites Vitug and Glenda GloriaAll accused in the Jabidah Massacre were tried and acquitted in a Military Court.

September 23, 1972

Martial Law is declared.

October 24, 1972

Moro National Liberation Front begins rebellion against the government.

1973

Under the Crescent Moon by Marites Vitug and Glenda Gloria cite Malaysia historian Aruna Gopinath, saying

reports in 1973 that Marcos, either directly or through Indonesia, had proposed to the Malaysian government that Manila would renounce publicly its claim to Sabah if Malaysia could assure the Philippines that it would stop giving sanctuary to the MNLF.

 

1973 Constitution

Article on National Territory reads:

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all the other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic or legal title, including the territorial sea, the air space, the subsoil, the sea-bed, the insular shelves, and the submarine areas over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, irrespective of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

1974-1986

Mahakuttah Kiram becomes Sultan in 1974, after the death of his father, Sultan Esmail Kiram I. He rules until his death in 1986.

May 10, 1974

Memorandum Order No. 427, s. 1974.

Creating a committee to handle the confirmation of the Sultan of Sulu by the Ruma Bechara.

May 13, 1974

Executive Order No. 429, S. 1974.

Creating a Consultative Council on Muslim Affairs.

December 23, 1976

Tripoli Agreement is signed.

August 4, 1977

President Ferdinand E. Marcos gives up claim to Sabah. At this point in Marcos’ Presidency, a legislature has not yet been convened, therefore, President Marcos exercised full authority over Foreign Affairs policy.

In a speech Marcos said: “ The Philippine government is taking definite steps to eliminate of the burdens of ASEAN – the Philippine claim to Sabah.”[236]

After the statement, Marcos handed draft of the “Border Crossing and Joint Patrol Agreement” to Malaysia. It was not signed.[237]

Malaysians asked two things of the Philippines:

  1. 1973 Constitution with its broad definition of our national territory be amended in order to eliminate the clause, “territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title.”
  2. That R.A. 5446, particularly Section 2, be repealed.[238]

June 25, 1980

At the ASEAN Foreign Ministers Conference in Kuala Lumpur, MP Arturo M. Tolentino declared that the Philippine claim to Sabah “…is closed. We are not raising it anymore.”[239]

Three rounds of talks between Manila and Kuala Lumpur  break down with Malaysia objecting to quid pro quo approach of the Philippines.

Usec. of Foreign Affairs Pacifico Castro and Tan Sri Zainal meet intermittently in Manila and Kuala Lumpur.[240]

1982-1985

Secret talks between Minister Roberto V. Ongpin and Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir.[241]

November 1982

Malaysian foreign ministry said, “Just a verbal announcement of the Philippines that it has dropped the claim is not enough. The Philippines has not taken all the necessary steps to delete a clause in its Constitution laying claim to Sabah.”[242]

Prime Minister Mahathir reiterated need for PHL to drop claim in a brief interview after speaking before the ASEAN Law Association general assembly at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur.

He said claim  remained a “thorny problem” even though the Philippines is not actively pursuing it.[243]

May 1, 1986

Vice President and Minister for Foreign Affairs Salvador H. Laurel meets with PM Mahathir and Foreign Minister Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen in Kuala Lumpur.

Mahatir reiterated commitment to settle proprietary issue of the heirs of the Sultan when they could agree on a single spokesperson with whom the Malaysian government could deal.

June 1986

ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in Manila.

Usec. of Foreign Affairs Jose D. Ingles and Sec. Gen. of Malaysian Foreign Ministry continue discussion on Sabah question.[244]

July 3, 1986

Debates of the Constitutional Commission.

Draft proposed by Fr. Joaquin Bernas,S.J., removes “Historical right or legal title” from the National Territory section of the Constitution and replacing it with, “Over which the Government exercises Sovereignty and Jurisdiction.”

Commissioner Serafin Guingona objects to this proposal saying it might be interpreted as a dropping of our claim to Sabah.

Bernas says this was in order to adhere to generally accepted principles of international law.

July 7, 1986

Debates of the Constitutional Commission.

On second Reading the provision of National Territory which states “Over which the Government exercises Sovereign Jurisdiction” is approved.

July 9, 1986

Debates of the Constitutional Commission.

On Third Reading the provision of National Territory which states “Over which the Government exercises Sovereign Jurisdiction” is lost.

July 10, 1986

Debates of the Constitutional Commission.

Concepcion objects to the proposed section on National Territory thus bringing it back to Second Reading.

Bernas proposes to change the word “Exercises” to “has.”

The Provision is approved.

February 16, 1987

Philippines with various demarcations

Philippines with various demarcations

1987 Constitution comes into full force and effect, in fulfilment of the first stipulation of the Malaysians.

Provision on National Territory:

The national territory comprises the Philippine archipelago, with all the islands and waters embraced therein, and all other territories over which the Philippines has sovereignty or jurisdiction, consisting of its terrestrial, fluvial and aerial domains, including its territorial sea, the seabed, the subsoil, the insular shelves, and other submarine areas. The waters around, between, and connecting the islands of the archipelago, regardless of their breadth and dimensions, form part of the internal waters of the Philippines.

Bernas in his Commentary on the Constitution (2003, Pp. 30-31), says:

It clearly therefore did not abandon any claim to Sabah or to any other territory but left all such matters to determination through international process.

February 20, 1987

Series of meetings between Usec. of Foreign Affairs Jose D. Ingles and Tan Sri Zainal held further talks in Kuala Lumpur.

Usec. of Foreign Affairs Jose D. Ingles and Sec. Gen. of Malaysian Foreign Ministry continue discussion of Sabah question.[245]

June 27, 1987

Series of meetings between Usec. of Foreign Affairs Jose D. Ingles  and Tan Sri Zainal held further talks in Hong Kong.

Usec. of Foreign Affairs Jose D. Ingles and Sec. Gen. of Malaysian Foreign Ministry continue discussion of Sabah question. Philippines agreed to adopt new baseline law: Malaysians proposed agreements on border crossing, extradition, Treaty of Friendship, and establishment of consulates.[246]

October 23, 1987

Upon instructions from President Corazon C. Aquino, Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raul S. Manglapus tries to unify the heirs to the sultanate.

Letter of Manglapus to Senator Santanina Rasul:

I would like to suggest that the claimants organize themselves so that they may arrive at a common position…. Although yours is a private claim, we have the assurance of the Malaysian government that they are ready and willing to negotiate with the heirs of the Sultan of Sulu in order to settle this matter.

Senator Rasul successfully brings the heirs to Malacañan Palace and appoint representatives. However, talks were stalled when Jamalul Kiram III dissented.[247]

November 19, 1987

Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani files Senate Bill no. 206 to repeal R.A. No. 5446. Says a package of bilateral treaties agreements on amity and economic cooperation, extradition, and border-crossing and patrols, are part of a package deal offered in exchange for the dropping of the Sabah claim.

Certified urgent by President Corazon C. Aquino but faced stiff opposition. It was not passed in the 8th Congress.[248]

December 4-6, 1987

President Corazon C. Aquino and Secretary Raul S. Manglapus met with the heirs without Jamalul Kiram III.

Brief from the meeting:

They were of the opinion that Sultan Mohamad Jamalul Kiram III was expressing his own personal views which contravene the consensus reached at the meeting of the heirs with Secretary… Manglapus at the PICC on Friday, December 4 and at the conference of the heirs held with President Corazon C. Aquino at Malacañang on Saturday, December 5.[249]

August 28, 1988

Former Senator Arturo M. Tolentino opposed the Shahani Bill as it would drop Sabah claim.[250]

February 12, 1989

Sultan Mohammad Jamalal Kiram III(one of the claimnants to the throne) revoked the resolution of August 1962 regarding the transfer of title and sovereignty to the Republic of the Philippines.[251]

January 11, 1993

President Fidel V. Ramos issues Executive Order No. 46 s. 1993 creating the Bipartisan Executive-Legislative Advisory Council on the Sabah Issues.

January 27 – 30, 1993

President Fidel V. Ramos state visit to Malaysia.

President Fidel V. Ramos makes proposal, Malaysia agrees to set up a consulate in Sabah and Davao, respectively. Downplays North Borneo issue despite calls from members of Congress to pursue claim.

February 10, 1993

President Fidel V. Ramos attempts to unify the heirs to the Sultanate.

President Ramos suggested that to the representatives of the heirs that they create a corporation called the Sulu-Sabah Development Corporation. The entity would be the conduit of funds from the settlement of the proprietary claim over Sabah.[252]

July 1993

The Philippines and Malaysia sign Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Commission on Bilateral Cooperation.

December 6-10, 1993

1st PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.

The Meeting discussed the reciprocal establishment of Consular Offices in the Philippines and Malaysia.

The Philippine delegation stated that the Philippine Government was still considering possible sites for the establishment of a Consulate in East Malaysia

The Malaysian Delegation informed that Malaysia wishes to establish a consulate in southern Philippines. The Philippine Delegation welcomed the Malaysian proposal. The Philippine Delegation indicated that the Philippines is considering possible sites for a consular office in East Malaysia[253]

March 26, 1994

President Fidel V. Ramos proposes creation of BIMP-EAGA (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area). See Agreed minutes of inaugural ministerial meeting of the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines-East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA).

1995, 10th Congress

HB 2657 – “The Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone Act of 1995.”[254]

Introduced by Rep. Manuel B. Villar, Jr.

March 28 – 29, 1995

2nd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.

The Malaysian side stated that the Malaysian Government has decided to establish a Consulate General in Davao City. A formal notification would be made to the Philippine Government and plans are for the Consulate to be set up in May/June 1995.

The Philippine side welcomed the decision of the Malaysian Government and assured the Philippine Government’s full cooperation in the establishment of the Malaysian Consulate in Davao City. The Philippine side that the Philippine Government has yet to decide on the location of its Consulate in east Malaysia.[255]

 1995

Philippine and Malaysian governments agree to setup a consulate in Sabah and Davao, respectively. Malaysia setup a consulate in Davao in December but the Philippines did not push through.[256]

May 29 – 31, 1995

3rd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

The Meeting agreed on the need to hold regular informal consultations between the relevant agencies of the two sides to resolve any outstanding problem pertaining to Filipino workers and illegal immigrants.[257]

Opening Remarks by Datuk Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia for the 3rd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC).

On Regulating the Flow of People and Goods:

 …The Armed Forces and Police of our respective countries have already concluded a historic joint patrol exercise designed to curb piracy, illegal entry and illegal fishing in the territorial waters of the two countries. A working group between our two countries had recently met in Sabah to deal with border crossing matters. This is an important development which will contribute to facilitating and regulating the flow of people and goods at the border areas of East Malaysia and Southern Philippines…[258] 

1996

Princess Denchurain Kiram writes Prime Minister Mahatir of Malaysia asking to increase the the rental $1,000,000. She also said that she is willing to renounce the claim if the Malaysian Government provide a fair settlement.

Proposal was refused by the Prime Minister.[259]

May 31, 1996

PH-MY sign Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area Agreement.

September 2, 1996

Peace Agreement MNLF.

December 1996

Border Crossing and Joint Patrol agreements signed by the Philippines and Malaysia. 

1998,?11th Congress

HB 2973 – “Archipelagic Baselines Law of the Philippines”

Introduced by Hon. J. Apolinario L. Lozada, Jr.[260] 

July 5, 1999

Executive Order No. 117 reconstituted  the Bipartisan Executive-Legislative Advisory Council on the Sabah Issues.

12th Congress

HB 2031 (HB 2973 re-filed).

Introduced by Hon. J. Apolinario L. Lozada, Jr.[261] 

March 1-3, 2000

4th Malaysia-PH Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.

Establishment of a Consulate in Sabah:

The Meeting noted Philippines’ commitment towards the establishment of a Philippine Consulate in Sabah.[262] 

January 2001

Sultan Esmail Kiram II writes Prime Minister Mahathir, through President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo to increase the lease fee to $855 million per annum.263] 

February 2001

PHL files for Application to Gain Access to the Pleadings at the International Court of Justice hearing on the Ligitan-Sipadan islands dispute between Malaysia and Indonesia in order “to preserve and safeguard its historical and legal rights arising from its claim to sovereignty and dominion over the territory of North Borneo.” 

March 13, 2001

PHL petitions ICJ to intervene in territorial dispute over Sipadan and Ligitan islands between Malaysia and Indonesia. See also note verbale.

March 14, 2001

Malaysian authorities reportedly expressed willingness to buy Sabah for US $800 Million.

Deal supposedly initiated by heirs of the Sultan of Sulu through legal counsel Ulka Ulama.[264] 

August 9, 2001

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, upon her return from a state visit to Malaysia, asks Vice President and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona to set up an economic and cultural office in Sabah.

Office would be similar to Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan.[265] 

October 24, 2001

ICJ denies application of Philippines for intervention

An extract from the decision, which is in French:

The Court determines whether Indonesia or Malaysia obtained a title to the islands by succession. The Court begins in this connection by observing that, while the Parties both maintain that the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan were not terrae nullius during the period in question in the present case, they do so on the basis of diametrically opposed reasoning, each of them claiming to hold title to those islands. The Court does not accept Indonesia’s contention that it retained title to the islands as successor to the Netherlands, which allegedly acquired it through contracts concluded with the Sultan of Bulungan, the original title-holder. Nor does the Court accept Malaysia’s contention that it acquired sovereignty over the islands of Ligitan and Sipadan further to a series of alleged transfers of the title originally held by the former sovereign, the Sultan of Sulu, that title having allegedly passed in turn to Spain, the United States, Great Britain on behalf of the State of North Borneo, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and finally to Malaysia.

Having found that neither of the Parties has a treaty-based title to Ligitan and Sipadan, the Court next considers the question whether Indonesia or Malaysia could hold title to the disputed islands by virtue of the effectivités cited by them. In this regard, the Court determines whether the Parties’ claims to sovereignty are based on activities evidencing an actual, continued exercise of authority over the islands, i.e., the intention and will to act as sovereign.

World Court Digest contains this opinion by one of the Justices:

“2.I wish to explicate a legal basis for the Court’s decision which, while consistent with it, has not been advanced by the Court, perhaps because it was insufficiently advanced by the Parties …The point of law is quite simple, but ultimately basic to the international rule of law. It is this: historic title, no matter how persuasively claimed on the basis of old legal instruments and exercises of authority, cannot – except in the most extraordinary circumstances – prevail in law over the rights of non-self-governing people to claim independence and establish their sovereignty through the exercise of bona fide self-determination.

9. …Under modern international law, however, the enquiry must necessarily be broader, particularly in the context of decolonization. In particular, the infusion of the concept of the rights of a “people” into this traditional legal scheme, notably the right of peoples to self-determination, fundamentally alters the significance of historic title to the determination of sovereign title.

15. Accordingly, in light of the clear exercise by the people of North Borneo of their right to self-determination, it cannot matter whether this Court, in any interpretation it might give to any historic instrument or efficacy, sustains or not the Philippines claim to historic title. Modern international law does not recognize the survival of a right of sovereignty based solely on historic title; not, in any event, after an exercise of self-determination conducted in accordance with the requisites of international law, the bona fides of which has received international recognition by the political organs of the United Nations. Against this, historic claims and feudal pre-colonial titles are mere relics of another international legal era, one that ended with the setting of the sun on the age of colonial imperium.

16. The lands and people claimed by the Philippines formerly constituted most of an integral British dependency. In accordance with the law pertaining to decolonization, its population exercised their right of self-determination. What remains is no mere boundary dispute. It is an attempt to keep alive a right to reverse the free and fair decision taken almost 40 years ago by the people of North Borneo in the exercise of their legal right to self-determination. The Court cannot be a witting party to that.” 

November 2001 

ARMM Governor Nur Misuari ordered his troops  to wage rebellion. He escapes to Malaysia. Malaysian government extradites him back to the Philippines.

Misuari, ARMM Governor since 1996, tried to lobby for an extension of his term set to expire in 2002. Failing, he ordered the Moro National Liberation Front to rebel in Jolo. It is crushed.[266] 

2002 

Some of the heirs meet in Malacañan Palace at the invitation of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

According to the article, Jamalul Kiram III was recognized as the Sultan. President Arroyo sent the letter asking forthe adjustment of rent to Sabah to the Malaysian Prime Minister.[267 

August 2002

Reports of “heavy-handed” of Filipino deportees spark diplomatic protest from Manila.

Philippine lawmakers support revival of claim.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo urges officials and the public to separate territorial dispute from issue of Filipino deportees. 

September 6, 2002

Executive Order No. 121 s. 2002 again reconstituted the Bipartisan Executive-Legislative Advisory Council on the Sabah Issues.

September 19, 2002

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assures heirs of Sultan of Sulu that they are protected.

13th Congress

HB 1973 –- An act defining the archipelagic baselines of the Philippine archipelago to include the Kalayaan Island Group and to conform with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446.

Introduced by Hon. Antonio V. Cuenco.[268] 

HB 6087 – An act defining the archipelagic baselines of the Philippine archipelago, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446.

Introduced by the Hons. Antonio V. Cuenco, Edgardo M. Chatto, Carmen L. Cari, Jose G. Solis and Roilo S. Golez.[269]

July 14-16, 2004

JCBC discusses Filipino workers in Sabah and proposes Philippines set up a consulate in Sabah.

The Malaysian side requested the Philippine side to establish a Consulate in Sabah as soon as possible. The Philippine side reiterated the government’s commitment on this matter.[270] 

September 14, 2004

Executive Order No. 357 s. 2004The Bipartisan Executive-Legislative Advisory Council on the Sabah Issues was abolished and its functions transferred to DFA. 

September 2005

Group calling itself the “Royal Sultanate of Sulu Archipelago’s Supreme Council” warned Malaysian government not to entertain claims forwarded to it by so-called Sultan Rodinood Julaspi Kiram regarding the resolution of the North Borneo territorial issue. 

April 27-28, 2006

Closing Statement of Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar at the 6th Malaysia-PH Joint Commission Meeting.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Albar, in his closing statement during the 6th Malaysia-PH Joint Commission Meeting  in Kuala Lumpur, asked Secretary Alberto G. Romulo to jointly “find ways to bring a final conclusion to the long due bilateral matters, namely the displaced people in Sabah and the setting up of the Philippine Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu.”[271]

June 3, 2006

Mohammad Fuad Abdulla Kiram I was proclaimed 35th Sultan of the Royal Hashimite Sultanate of Sulu and Sabah with a backing of the Moro National Liberation Front.

May 2007

Jamalul Kiram III runs unsuccessfully for Senator under Partido Demokratikong Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP) headed by Norberto Gonzales, receiving over two million votes.

PDSP is in coalition with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s Lakas-CMD and KAMPI to form TEAM Unity. Administration coalition is crushed in the polls with only two of its bets winning, the other 10 seats are won by the opposition. 

14th Congress

HB 1202[272]

Introduced by Hon. Antonio V. Cuenco.

May 29, 2008

Nur Misuari called for the revival of North Borneo claim in Second Mindanao Leadership Summit attended by MNLF combatants.

Strong reaction from Datuk Seri Panglima Yong Teck Lee, President of the Sabah Progressive Party urging Malaysia’s Federal Government to bring in military, set up consulates in Mindanao and invite PHL to set up consulate in Sabah. 

July 9, 2008

“Sultanate of Sulu” reportedly starts issuing birth certificates to Filipinos in Sabah .

July 27, 2008

Datu Omar negotiator of Mohammad Jamal Al Alam heirs was quoted “obtained signatures of nine heirs relinquishing claims to Sabah” but these are denied by claimants.

Uka Ulama claimed that nobody has the power to drop the claim because there is no more Sultan who reigns and rules over the territory. 

August 10, 2008

Sulu provincial government tells Malaysia to Increase annual payment to Jamalul Kiram II to $500 Million.[273]

August 20, 2008

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo issues Memorandum Circular No. 162 s. 2008 or “Guidelines on matters pertaining to North Borneo (Sabah).”

No recognition of a foreign state’s sovereignty over North Borneo; any official activity relating to North Borneo carried out only with the clearance of or after consultations with DFA.

March 10, 2009

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signs R.A. 9522, amending R.A. 5446.

In fulfilment of the second Malaysian stipulation, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo removes mention of Sabah or North Borneo in the Archipelagic Baselines of the Philippines law.

2010

Nur Misuari issued a statement calling the attention of Malaysia to settle the Sabah issue.[274] 

June 2010

Sulu provincial board passed a resolution supporting the demand of heirs to increase the yearly payment to at least $500 Million.[275

July 16, 2011

Supreme Court decision (GR No. 187167) upholds the baseline law.

In its decision, the Supreme Court makes a conclusion of law: that R.A. 9522 did not repeal R.A. 5466, and that therefore, the Philippine claim over Sabah is retained and can be pursued. However, since this is a conclusion of law, the Supreme Court made its conclusion of law without explaining the reasons for its conclusion. It makes the decision, however, binding on the government. 

April 24-27, 2012

Visit to the Philippines of Malaysian House Speaker Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia.

Malaysian House Speaker Pandikar Amin Haji Mulia raised the matter of the opening of a consulate during his call on President Benigno S. Aquino III, who, in response, instructed the Secretary of Foreign Affairs to conduct a study on the prospects for opening a consulate.[276] 

June 5, 2012

Upon returning from a visit to Malaysia, Vice-President Binay says he will recommend to the President the setting up of a Philippine Consulate in Sabah.

February 12, 2013

Followers of Jamalul Kiram numbering over 200 men landed in Laha Datu village in Sabah on February 12, 2013.[277]


[1]                Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[2]                Majul, Dr. Cesar Adib. “The Sulu Sultanate and its Original Acquisition of Sabah.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 29-40. Print.

[3]                Majul, Dr. Cesar Adib. “The Sulu Sultanate and its Original Acquisition of Sabah.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 29-40. Print.

[4]                Majul, Dr. Cesar Adib. “The Sulu Sultanate and its Original Acquisition of Sabah.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 29-40. Print.

[5]                Majul, Dr. Cesar Adib. “The Sulu Sultanate and its Original Acquisition of Sabah.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 29-40. Print.

[6]                Abinales, Patricio. “Re-constructing Colonial Philippines: 1900-1910.” 1900-2000: the Philippine Century. Manila: Philippines Free Press, 2001. p. 19. Print.

[7]                Canoy, Reuben R.. The History of Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City: Reuben R. Canoy, 2001. Print. Vol I

[8]                Cesar Adib Majul: “Muslims in the Philippines,” 1999 edition

[9]                Majul, Dr. Cesar Adib. “The Sulu Sultanate and its Original Acquisition of Sabah.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 29-40. Print.

[10]              Canoy, Reuben R.. The History of Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City: Reuben R. Canoy, 2001. Print.

[11]              Canoy, Reuben R.. The History of Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City: Reuben R. Canoy, 2001. Print.

[12]              Canoy, Reuben R.. The History of Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City: Reuben R. Canoy, 2001. Print.

[13]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[14]              Canoy, Reuben R.. The History of Mindanao. Cagayan de Oro City: Reuben R. Canoy, 2001. Print.

[15]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[16]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[17]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[18]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[19]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[20]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[21]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[22]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[23]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[24]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[25]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[26]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[27]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[28]              Abinales, Patricio. “Re-constructing Colonial Philippines: 1900-1910.” 1900-2000: the Philippine Century. Manila: Philippines Free Press, 2001. p. 19. Print.

[29]              Abinales, Patricio. “Re-constructing Colonial Philippines: 1900-1910.” 1900-2000: the Philippine Century. Manila: Philippines Free Press, 2001. p. 19. Print.; Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[30]              Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. U.S. National Archive, Volume 4: pp.349-361. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[31]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[32]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[33]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[34]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[35]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[36]              Treacher, W.H. . British Borneo: Sketches of Brunai, Sarawak, Labuan, and North Borneo. Singapore: Government Printing Department, 1891. Print.

[37]              Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[38]              United Nations Publications (2002), Case concerning sovereignty over Palau Ligitan and Palau Sipidan (Indonesia/Malaysia). Judgment of 17 December 2002. International Court of Justice Series. Issue 858 of Recueil des arrêts, avis consultatifs et ordonnances. Reports of judgments, advisory opinions and orders, United Nations Publications

[39]              Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[40]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[41]              Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Dr. Gamboa. December 11, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[42]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[43]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[44]              Quiason, Dr. Serafin D. “English Trade and Politics in the Mindanao-Sulu Area: 1684-1888.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 5-28. Print.

[45]              Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Dr. Gamboa. December 11, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

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[69]              Peter Gowing, “Mandate in the Moroland: The American Government of Muslim Filipinos 1899-1920,” (PhD diss., Syracuse University 1968)

[70]              Certified true copy by the U.S. National Archive. Records of the Bureau of Insular Affairs, Record Group 350, Select Documents from file 980. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

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[74]              Imperial, Jose. Memorandum to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. November 22, 1963. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

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[79]              Ade, George. The Sultan of Sulu: An Original Satire in Two Acts. . Russell, R. H., 1903. Print.

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[82]              Letter of Diosdado Macapagal to Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani dated May 1, 1989

[83]              Untitled loose pages. undated.1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[84]              Untitled loose pages. undated.1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[85]              Harrison, Francis Burton. The Cornerstone of Philippine Independence, A Narrative of Seven Years. 1922. Reprint. Michigan: UMI Books on Demand, 2002. Print

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[88]              Letter of Diosdado Macapagal to Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani dated May 1, 1989

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[92]              Accounts and Papers: Correspondence on the Subject of Allegations Against the Administration of the British North Borneo Company presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Vol.33, 10 February – 23 December 1920. 1920-1969 DFA papers collection. Print.

[93]              Accounts and Papers: Correspondence on the Subject of Allegations Against the Administration of the British North Borneo Company presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Vol.33, 10 February – 23 December 1920. 1920-1969 DFA papers collection. Print.

[94]              Accounts and Papers: Correspondence on the Subject of Allegations Against the Administration of the British North Borneo Company presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Vol.33, 10 February – 23 December 1920. 1920-1969 DFA papers collection. Print.

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[96]              Accounts and Papers: Correspondence on the Subject of Allegations Against the Administration of the British North Borneo Company presented to Parliament by Command of His Majesty. Vol.33, 10 February – 23 December 1920. 1920-1969 DFA papers collection. Print.

[97]              Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

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[99]              Guingona, Teopisto. Letter to the Governor-General of the Philippines. February 15, 1921. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[100]            Office of the Governor-General of the Philippines. Letter to the Chief of the Bureau of Insular Affairs of the United States War Department. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[101]            United States Secretary of War. Letter to the Secretary of State. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[102]            Deputy Secretary of State. Letter to the Secretary of War. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[103]            Fry, Howard T. “The Bacon Bill of 1926: New Light on an Exercise in Divide-and-Rule” Philippine Studies Journal. 1978; Churchill, Bernardita R. The Philippine Independence Missions to the United States 1919-1934 (1983 NHI)

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[105]            Kiram, Jamalu’l. Letter to Aleko E. Lilius (published). Undated. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[106]            Dandan, Mahmud. The Borneo Story. The Evening News October 5, 1946. Print.

[107]            The Sunday Times, 9 May 1937 p. 10

[108]            Harrison, Francis Burton. The Cornerstone of Philippine Independence, A Narrative of Seven Years. 1922. Reprint. Michigan: UMI Books on Demand, 2002. Print

[109]            Philippine Magazine Volume XXXIV No.3 (March 1937)

[110]            Philippine Magazine Volume XXXIV No.3 (March 1937)

[111]            Sunday Times,  May 9, 1937

[112]            Sunday Times Article, May 9, 1937

[113]            Memorandum of President Manuel L. Quezon

[114]            Original Document: Letter of Rep. Amilbangsa to President Manuel L. Quezon

[115]            Original Document: Manuel L. Quezon letter to Executive Secretary Jorge Vargas

[116]            Dandan, Mahmud. The Borneo Story. The Evening News October 5, 1946. Print.

[117]            Newspaper article: Sydney Morning Herald; Original Document: Harrison letter to Vice President Elpidio Quirino dated February 27, 1947

[118]            Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[119]            Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[120]            United Press Article, 1940

[121]            Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[122]            Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[123]            Estate of the Sultan of Sulu. United States of America National Archives, 1946. File no. 980-83 Records of the Division of Territories and Island Possessions. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[124]            Manila Bulletin. Syre Reveals Interest in Moro Treaty Rights in Borneo Territory. September 7, 1940. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[125]            Tarling, Nicholas. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia (Volume Two, Part Two). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.

[126]            Parpan S.J., Alfredo G. “The Philippine Claim on North Borneo: Another Look” Philippine Studies. (1988) Print.

[127]            Parpan S.J., Alfredo G. “The Philippine Claim on North Borneo: Another Look” Philippine Studies. (1988) Print.; Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[128]            Macapagal, Diosdado. “A Stone for the Edifice, Memoirs of a President” (1968); Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[129]            Elizalde, Joaquin. Letter to Elpidio Quirino. December 13, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[130]            Original Document: Harrison letter to Vice President Elpidio Quirino dated February 27, 1947

[131]            Ramos, Narciso. Letter to Elpidio Quirino. October 10, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[132]            Sarawak Case to be Placed before UN. November 25, 1946.1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[133]            Original Document: Harrison letter to Vice President Elpidio Quirino dated February 27, 1947

[134]            Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Dr. Gamboa. December 11, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[135]            Elizalde, Joaquin. Letter to Elpidio Quirino. December 13, 1946. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[136]            Manila Bulletin. Untitled. February 12, 1947. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[137]            Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[138]            Melencio, J.P. Signed Memorandum.1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection.

[139]            Tarling, Nicholas. The Cambridge History of Southeast Asia (Volume Two, Part Two). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Print.

[140]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[141]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[142]            Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Mr. Holigores. November 3, 1952. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[143]            letter for DFA Legal Adviser Atty. Eduardo Quintero, from Luis Sabater, Legislative Counsel and Chief of Legislative Reference Service dated November 27, 1951. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection

[144]            Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Mr. Holigores. November 3, 1952. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[145]            Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Secretary of Foreign Affairs Carlos P. Romulo. February 1, 1952. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[146]            Diamonon, V. Letter to Atty. Eduardo Quintero. October 16, 1952. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection

[147]            Quintero, Eduardo. Memorandum for Mr. Holigores. November 3, 1952. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[148]            Milton Walter Mayer. A Diplomatic History of the Philippine Republic: The First Years 1946-1961.

[149]            Milton Walter Mayer. A Diplomatic History of the Philippine Republic: The First Years 1946-1961.

[150]            Original Document: Federation of Malaya Act

[151]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[152]            Ortiz, Pacifico . “Legal Aspects of the North Borneo Question.” Philippine Studies. 11.1 (1963): 18-64. Print.

[153]            Original Document: Federation of Malaya Independence Act

[154]            Fernandez, Erwin S., Philippine-Malaysia Dispute over Sabah: A Bibliographic Survey. Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Vol.7 No. 2, December 2007

[155]            Penubuhan Malaysia 16 September 1963.” Arkib Negara Malaysia. National Archives of Malaysia, n.d. Web.

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[160]            Stockwell, A. J., ed. Malaysia. London: Stationery Office, 2004. Print.

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[168]            U.P. Law Center – The Philippine Claim to a portion of North Borneo (Sabah): Materials and Documents

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[170]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[171]            The Philippine Claim to a portion of North Borneo: Materials and Documents; Macapagal, Diosdado. “A Stone for the Edifice, Memoirs of a President” (1968);

[172]            Macapagal, Diosdado. “A Stone for the Edifice, Memoirs of a President” (1968);Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. (Print.)

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[177]            Quintos, Prof. Rolando. “The Sabah Question: Prospects and Alternatives.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 67-85. Print.

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[179]            Macapagal, Diosdado. “A Stone for the Edifice, Memoirs of a President” (1968);

[180]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

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[184]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[185]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[186]            Philippine Claim to Sabah (North Borneo) Vol. II

[187]            Original Document: Agreement relating to Malaysia, 1963

[188]            Original Document: Manila Accord sign on July 31, 1963 by President Soekarno, President Macapagal, and Prime Minister Tunku.

[189]            Original Document: Joint Statement of the Philippines, Federation of Malaya, and Indonesia

[190]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[191]            Stockwell, A. J.. Malaysia. London: Stationery Office, 2004. P. 225. Print.

[192]            Ooi, Keat Gin. Southeast Asia: a historical encyclopedia, from Angkor Wat to East Timor. Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2004. P. 845. Print.

[193]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[194]            Quintos, Prof. Rolando. “The Sabah Question: Prospects and Alternatives.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 67-85. Print.

[195]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[196]            Jose, Abueva, and de Guzaman Raul.Foundations and Dynamics of the Filipino Government and Politics. Quezon City: Bookmark, 1969. Print.

[197]            Parpan S.J., Alfredo G. “The Philippine Claim on North Borneo: Another Look” Philippine Studies. (1988) Print.; Jose, Abueva, and de Guzaman Raul.Foundations and Dynamics of the Filipino Government and Politics. Quezon City:

[198]            Severino, Rodolfo. Where in the World Is the Philippines?: Debating Its National Territory (2011); Flores, Jeremia C. et. al. “The Legal Implications of the Unilateral Dropping of the Sabah Claim” Philippine Law Journal. (1982)

[199]            Imperial, Jose. Memorandum to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs. November 22, 1963. 1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[200]            Macapagal, Diosdado. “A Stone for the Edifice, Memoirs of a President” (1968);

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[203]            Parpan S.J., Alfredo G. “The Philippine Claim on North Borneo: Another Look” Philippine Studies. (1988) Print.,

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[205]            Flores, Jeremia C. et. al. “The Legal Implications of the Unilateral Dropping of the Sabah Claim” Philippine Law Journal. (1982)

[206]            Quintos, Prof. Rolando. “The Sabah Question: Prospects and Alternatives.” Symposium on Sabah (1969): 67-85. Print.

[207]            ASEAN Bangkok Declaration

[208]            “The Corregidor Massacre – 1968” by Paul F. Whitman (http://corregidor.org/heritage_battalion/jabidah.html)

[209]            “Q and A with Jibin Arula: 41years after the Jabidah Massacre (1)” by Carolyn O. Aguas, March 19, 2009 (http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2009/03/16/q-and-a-with-jibin-arula-41-years-after-the-jabidah-massacre-2/)

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[211]            Lone survivor recalls Jabidah Massacre by Jocelyn Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 18, 2008 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080318-125522/Lone-survivor-recalls-Jabidah-Massacre)

[212]            “Q and A with Jibin Arula: 41years after the Jabidah Massacre (2)” by Carolyn O. Aguas, March 19, 2009 (http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2009/03/16/q-and-a-with-jibin-arula-41-years-after-the-jabidah-massacre-2/)

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[214]            Lone survivor recalls Jabidah Massacre by Jocelyn Uy, Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 18, 2008 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/nation/view/20080318-125522/Lone-survivor-recalls-Jabidah-Massacre)

[215]            Fernandez, Erwin S.,Philippine-Malaysia Dispute over Sabah: A Bibliographic Survey. Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Vol.7 No. 2, December 2007

[216]            Aquino, Benigno S.. A garrison state in the make and other speeches. Legaspi Village, Makati, Metro Manila: Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation, 1985. Print.

[217]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[218]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

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[220]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.; Parpan S.J., Alfredo G. “The Philippine Claim on North Borneo: Another Look” Philippine Studies. (1988) Print.,

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[224]            Fernandez, Erwin S., Philippine-Malaysia Dispute over Sabah: A Bibliographic Survey. Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Vol.7 No. 2, December 2007

[225]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[226]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[227]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[228]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[229]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[230]            Aquino, Benigno S.. A garrison state in the make and other speeches. Legaspi Village, Makati, Metro Manila: Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation, 1985. Print.

[231]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[232]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[233]            Department of Foreign Affairs. Letter to Ambassador Quintero. March 20, 1969.1920 – 1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[234]            Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America. U.S. National Archive, Volume 4: pp.349-361. 1920-1969 DFA Papers Collection. Print

[235]            Imperial, Jose F. Letter to Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. April 16, 1969.  DFA Papers Collection. Print

[236]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.; Severino, Rodolfo. Where in the World Is the Philippines?: Debating Its National Territory (2011)

[237]            DFA

[238]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[239]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).”

[240]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).”

[241]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).”

[242]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[243]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[244]            DFA

[245]            DFA

[246]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).”

[247]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[248]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print

[249]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[250]            Tolentino, Arturo M. Voice of Dissent. Quezon City: Phoenix Pub. House, 1990. Print.

[251]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).

[252]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[253]            Agreed Minutes of the 1st PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation

[254]            The Philippine Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as declared under P.D. No. 1599 charts the exclusive economic zone to extend two hundred (200) nautical miles from the baselines which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured.

The act is focused more on the economic aspects of setting an exclusive economic zone and not territorial boundaries.

[255]            Agreed Minutes of the 2nd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation

[256]            Severino, Rodolfo. Where in the World Is the Philippines?: Debating Its National Territory (2011)

[257]            Agreed Minutes of the 3rd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC)

[258]            Agreed Minutes of the 3rd PH-Malaysia Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC)

[259]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[260]            An act defining the archipelagic baselines of the Philippine archipelago to include the Kalayaan Island Group and to conform with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446.

[261]            Bill is exactly the same as HB 2973

[262]            Agreed Minutes of the 4th Malaysia-PH Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation

[263]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[264]            DFA. “A Study on the Claim to North Borneo (Sabah).”

[265]            Tordesillas, Ellen. “Ermita’s Sabah memo.” Malaya September 12, 2008

[266]            Abinales, P. N., and Donna J. Amoroso. State and Society in the Philippines. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005. Print.

[267]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[268]            Has exactly the same Explanatory Note as Lozada’s HB 2973 and HB 2031.

Section three cites Part IV of the 1982 UNCLO, absent in Lozada’s version.

Lists the geographical coordinates with the location basepoints of the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines with some alterations from Lozada’s version.

Section four cites Article 121 of the 1982 UNCLOS on the territorial sea and contiguous zone of the Scarborough Shoal, otherwise know as Panacot Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc.

Includes “Without Prejudice Clause” (Sec. 5) and tasks the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to produce and publish charts and maps representing the delineation of maritime zones set forth in the act (Sec. 6).

Substituted by HB 6087

[269]            Notes: Deletes Cuenco insertion in Section three.

Complies with the requirements if the UNCLOS.

Lists the geographical coordinates with the location basepoints of the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines following Cuenco’s HB 1973.

Proposes that the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) be declared Regime of Islands under the UNCLOS and the Scarborough Shoal or Bajo de Masinloc be enclosed within the baselines of the main archipelago.

Provides a “No Prejudice Clause” on any claims to any contested portions of the national territory or maritime zones and jurisdictions of the country.

Provides, likewise, a “Vested Interest Rights Clause” for the recognition of existing and the enforcement of claims by local government unite to an extended continental shelf under the UNCLOS as well as on allotments and shares in the income generated from natural resources within the national territory by virtue of R.A. 7160 (Local Code of 1991, as amended) which are delineated prior to this proposed Act.

Tasks the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to produce and publish charts and maps representing the delineation of maritime zones set forth in the act (Sec. 8)

[270]            Agreed Minutes of the 5th PH-Malaysia Joint Commission Meeting

[271]            OUSOC Memorandum dated 16 May 2012 on the Establishment of a Consulate in Sabah

[272]            An act defining the archipelagic baselines of the Philippine archipelago, amending for the purpose Republic Act No. 3046, as amended by Republic Act No. 5446.

Note: Seeks to amend R.A. 3046 as amended by R.A. 5446 by drawing straight baselines on the outermost points of Scarborough Shoal and joining them with the baselines defined under R.A. 3046, as amended.

Lists the geographical coordinates with the location basepoints of the archipelagic baselines of the Philippines following HB 6087 (Cuenco, et al).

Includes the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) as regime of islands, with some amendments to conform with the criteria set under Article 47 if the UNCLOS. (Sec. 4)

Seeks to establish new baseline laws of the Philippines to serve as basis from which to draw the 12-mile territorial sea, the 24-mile contiguous zone and the 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), as provided under UNCLOS.

Provides “Without Prejudice Clause” (Sec. 5) and “Vested Rights” (Sec. 6).

Tasks the National Mapping and Resource Information Authority (NAMRIA) to produce and publish charts and maps representing the delineation of maritime zones set forth in the act (Sec. 8).

Seeks appropriations to carry out the provisions of the act, either through a supplemental budget or inclusion in the General Appropriations Act.

Substituted by HB 3216

[273]            DFA

[274]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[275]            Rasul, Amina. “The Sabah Standoff” Businessworld. February 21, 2013

[276]            ASPAC Memorandum dated May 17, 2012, on the Establishment of a Consulate in Sabah

[277]            Lapeña, Carmela G. “Timeline: The centuries-old tug-of-war over Sabah” GMA. February 18, 2013.

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