EVEN President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who was about to deliver his first State of the Nation Address Monday afternoon, July 25, appeared to have been elated seeing the three of them -- all Mindanaoans -- on stage at the House of Representatives occupying the three highest seats -- the Senate President, the Speaker of the House, and he, himself, the President.

"Three Mindanaoans are elevated. Wala na akong masabi pa," the President said before he went on to deliver his Sona.

True enough. For a Mindanaoan, it was a sight to behold -- seeing Senate President Aquilino Pimentel who hails from Cagayan de Oro City and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who hails from Davao del Norte formally opening the joint Congress session, giving way to President Duterte, who hails from Davao City, for his first Sona.

The scenario only gives a sigh of relief for Mindanaoans who believe they have been left out by the past administrations, who had given so much focus and attention to the so-called Imperial Manila.

For them, given the three Mindanaoan leaders, time has really come for the island to seize its own share of progress and development -- the inclusive growth that the Duterte administration is bent to achieve.

Not much have been said about what these three leaders intend to do or what they want to accomplish for Mindanao, but hopes are ripe that what they have in mind right now is for Mindanao to move forward -- alleviate poverty on the island.

One way to achieve this is Duterte's pronouncement in his Sona to pursue a no-nonsense peace talks with all armed groups fighting the government, which also prompted him to declare a unilateral ceasefire with communist rebels. Peace agreements forged between all armed fronts on the island, will, in a way, change the image of Mindanao as a war zone that hinders its growth for a long time.

Under the leadership of Duterte, with the support of the two top Congress leaders, now is really the time for Mindanao to shine.