MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. told lawmakers on Wednesday that setting up an embassy in Sabah would amount to "treason."
The Philippines has a dormant claim over Sabah, which is part of Malaysia’s northern Borneo, citing a land lease agreement in 1878 between the Sultanate of Sulu and the British North Borneo Chartered Co.
"We shall never have an embassy in Sabah. That is an act of treason," Locsin said during a budget hearing for his agency.
The DFA is seeking a budget of P22.55 billion for 2020. It is the 6th top fee-collecting agency, averaging P2.35B in collections from 2015 to 2017.
It is also seeking a reconsideration of nearly P9 billion in funds that it sought but was rejected by the budget department last year.
The funds were meant for the rehabilitation of DFA offices and opening of additional foreign service posts.
-- Report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News