Marcos appeals to stop calls for Mindanao secession

MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
MANILA. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.PCO photo

PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. urged “all concerned” on Thursday, February 8, 2024, to stop calls for the secession of Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines, noting that it is a “grave” violation to the Constitution.

In his speech during the observation of “Constitution Day 2024” held in Makati City, Marcos said efforts to separate Mindanao from the Philippines “is doomed to fail because it is anchored on a false premise, not to mention a sheer constitutional travesty.”

“The current leadership of Barmm itself has repudiated this preposterous proposal. And so did the other political leaders of Mindanao. This is because there can be, as in fact there is already, genuine and effective local autonomy throughout our country, especially in the Barmm, without compromising our national integrity in the slightest degree,” he said.

“I strongly appeal to all concerned to stop this call for a separate Mindanao. This is a grave violation of the Constitution…Hindi ito ang Bagong Pilipinas na ating hinuhubog. Bagkus, ito ay pagwasak mismo sa ating bansang Pilipinas,” he added.

Marcos noted that the Philippine Constitution calls for a united and undivided country.

Former President Rodrigo Duterte earlier revealed their plan to revive the Mindanao initiative, which aims to separate Mindanao from the Republic of the Philippines, as he expressed disappointment over Mindanao being left behind.

He said secession is not a rebellion nor a sedition as it will take a legal process.

Duterte’s pronouncement came amid the discussions of constitutional amendment through People’s Initiative (PI) to which he is not in favor of.

Marcos committed to proactively confront constitutional issues hounding the nation as he vowed to the “Great Protector of the Constitution.”

“I will not stand idly by, but rather, will proactively confront these issues head on. For it is my sworn duty as elected President to preserve and defend the Constitution, and also to ensure that laws, especially the fundamental law of the land, are faithfully executed,” he said.

“Moreover, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and having control and supervision over our police forces, I bear the paramount mandates of maintaining peace and order in our land, and in preserving our national territory and security,” he added.

He vowed that reforms to the Constitution will be limited to economic provisions only which aims to boost the country’s economy.

The President raised the importance of the country’s economic well-being, with many sectors of society, particularly business, pointing to certain economic provisions in the Constitution that inhibit the Philippines’ growth momentum.

“In any event, this administration is going to push hard to attract more foreign investments to significantly help us achieve our ambition of upper middle-class income status by 2025,” said Marcos.

“Despite nearly 16 percent decrement in our net foreign direct investment inflows, our economy continues to grow and is expected to grow further by 6.5 to 7.5 percent in 2024,” he added.

Meanwhile, speaking during the 17th meeting of the National Government-Bangsamoro government Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) in Pasay City also on Thursday, Marcos said that a stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines.

“A stronger Barmm means a stronger Mindanao. A stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines bringing us closer to achieving our agendas,” he said.

Various local chief executives from Mindanao earlier expressed opposition to Duterte’s call to separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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