Tit-for-tat: DFA chief to summon Malaysian envoy over Sabah issue

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Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. Thursday on said he will summon Malaysia’s ambassador to Manila after the former’s counterpart chided him for his earlier remark on the Philippines’ Sabah claim.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein earlier said he would summon Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Charles Jose to explain Locsin’s July 27 tweet, which claimed that “Sabah is not in Malaysia.”

“No country can tell another what it can and cannot say about what the latter regards as rightfully its own. I don’t insist China say only what we want to hear about the Arbitral Award. It is free to say what it wants while we say and do what needs doing. That holds for Sabah,” Locsin said in a tweet.

And that’s China we’re talking about—the second biggest economy and military power in the 21st century. I am summoning the Malaysian ambassador @DFAPHL. https://t.co/Bcd66luGBN

— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) July 30, 2020

“And that’s China we’re talking about—the second biggest economy and military power in the 21st century. I am summoning the Malaysian ambassador,” he added.

Locsin defended his July 27 remark, which Hishammuddin has branded as “irresponsible” and “affects bilateral ties.”

“We have and continue to assert our rights in the Spratlys/WPS [West Philippine Sea]. I am doing that with regard to Sabah,” Locsin said.

We have and continue to assert our rights in the Spratlys/WPS. I am doing that with regard to Sabah. There have been repeated attempts to sell that claim but no Philippine president has succumbed. You’re really stupid. https://t.co/CdCHVPjQkx

— Teddy Locsin Jr. (@teddyboylocsin) July 29, 2020

“There have been repeated attempts to sell that claim but no Philippine president has succumbed,” he added.