From ABS-CBN (Mar 3): Sulu Sultanate: KL has USD100-M Sabah fund
The sultanate of Sulu claimed yesterday that the Malaysian government has set up a “$100-million Sabah Protection Fund (SPF)” to obscure their proprietary rights over Sabah.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesman for the sultanate, told The STAR that the implementation of the SPF is allegedly being carried out by the Malaysian prime minister’s office in coordination with the Philippine government.
He said a reliable source in Malaysia told him that to justify the SPF, it was included in the budget of the prime minister in the form of economic aid to Muslim communities in the Philippines.
In reality, however, it was intended to muddle the sultanate’s legal rights over Sabah.
“The SPF is being used to fund black propaganda and sow confusion among the legitimate heirs of the sultanate, in particular, and the Filipino people, in general,” he said.
Idjirani has appealed to the Malaysian parliament to look into the implementation of the SPF and determine if it was really intended to finance livelihood programs for Filipino Muslims in Mindanao.
Idjirani reminded Malaysia and the Philippine government that any effort to demolish the “historic and moral rights” of the sultanate over Sabah will not prosper as the case is now pending before the International Court of Justice.
He said the petition to reclaim Sabah was filed on Sept. 24, 2004 and a month later, the United Nations acknowledged the appeal.
The UN, however, required the sultanate to get an endorsement from a sovereign state to pursue its claim.
The sultanate has also reminded the United States and other countries about their moral obligation to honor treaties forged by their governments with the sultanate in the past.
What is letter and spirit of a law or agreement?
It means what it says and its intention; meaning, the drafters of the BBL will have to follow these documents as written, but also know the intent behind what is written and follow that, too.
This is a message addressed to those who wanted the BBL to accommodate even those clearly outside the letter and spirit of these documents. Such a view of “autonomy within autonomy,” even if it is well-meant, is not possible. “The water cannot rise above its source,” so to speak.
Experts say that a good constitution, basic law or organic act has the following features namely: it must be well-written, comprehensive, partly rigid and partly flexible, and suitability. And without stating, it should provide for a bill of rights for the people.
To explain this further, a constitution must be well defined and precise. It should not have ambiguities and obscurities of language, because this may lead to conflicting interpretations.
Such a constitution will depend for its interpretation on the whims of the judges. It should be sufficiently comprehensive, covering the whole field of government. The powers of different organs of the government and various functionaries of the state must be clearly demarcated. A constitution that is detailed becomes a plaything in the hands of judiciary. It should not omit the main fundamentals and at the same time does not enter into needless details, since a detailed constitution is also liable to give rise to constitutional disputes. Besides, a detailed constitution indicates a sort of distrust in the various organs of the government and hampers its natural growth. It should neither be very rigid nor very flexible. A rigid constitution does not possess the qualities of adaptability and adjustability. With the changing needs of time a flexible constitution is liable to be perverted. The best constitution is one which combines both the elements of rigidity and flexibility. It must provide a method of change so that it may be changed and adopted without a revolution. And lastly, a good constitution should represent the needs of the time and should be suitable for social, political and economic needs of the people.
It is prudent enough to say that those who wish to make recommendations for inclusions in the draft BBL should only send those that are relevant to the task of the BTC, so as not to unnecessarily burden them. This will surely bring good tiding to the commissioners who are catching up time to finish the BBL soon.