The phrase "all the other territories belonging to the Philippines by historic right or legal title" in the former provision was amended as indicated above. The phrase acquired a definite meaning in the 1973 Constitution as a cover-all for pending Philippines claim to Sabah (formerly North Borneo) against Malaysia and the possible claim to the so-called Freedomland (a group of islands known as "Spratley" islands in the South China Sea) and the Marianas Islands, including Guam (which according to historical documents were under the control of the civil and ecclesiastical authorities in the Philippines during the Spanish Regime), or any other territory over which the Philippines may in the future find it has a right to claim.

Its inclusion in the definition of our national territory merely provided for the possibility that said territories might eventually become a part of the Philippines but it did not settle the question of whether they belong to the Philippines by historic right or legal title.

The deletion, however, of the words "by historic right or legal title" is not to be construed as precluding future claims by the Philippines to areas over which it does not actually exercise sovereignty. The change is designed to improve our relations with Malaysia while allowing flexibility in pursuing the Sabah claim.