They say they want to resolve this by the international court. Unfortunately, the Philippines cannot produce any trace of written documentation as evidence. Nothing the Philippines mentioned so far is admissible in court as evidence.
Pinoys say Sabah is only leased to Malaysia, while Malaysia and the British say it is ceded.
The Brits and Malaysia can produce the original document to prove their point that it is ceded to the Brits.
But for strange reasons, Pinoys cannot show anything written to prove that it is only a lease. They cannot even produce a credible duplicate copy, or anything other books or government documents published in the 1800's or early 1900's that quoted from the original "lease" contract.
Everything Pinoys count on is verbal. They say Sabah is theirs because they say so. They also can interpret the annual payment received from Malaysia as rent. That's all they can do.
I really wonder why neither the Sulu Sultan nor Manila keeps the original document in a safe place. Isn't this an important document?(As an average folk, would you not handle your deeds or anything important such as your birth certificate and diplomas very carefully? Can you imagine such an important piece of "lease" document not being kept by the Sultan or Manila govt?)
Perhaps, they know the original document contains terms that are in favour of the Brits and Malaysia and so they refuse to show it or just destroy it.
Perhaps, there is no lease document to begin with. That is something made up by Pinoys as an excuse to fulfil their ambition of land grabbing.