PNP warns of possible chaos amid calls for Mindanao secession

MANILA. Philippine National Police Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr.
MANILA. Philippine National Police Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. PNP photo

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. warned on Monday, February 5, 2024, of possible chaos in case the separation of Mindanao from the rest of the country will push through.

In a press conference, Acorda said they are monitoring those involved in the call to separate Mindanao in case their movements became seditious or violent.

He said that for now, there is nothing to worry about.

“Sinabi kong pwedeng magkagulo pag gagawin yon pero as of now, I don’t see anything na reason for us to worry about this separation kasi lahat naman nagsasalita and I think there is not that group na to worry about,” he said.

(I said there could be trouble if we do that but as of now, I don't see anything that is a reason for us to worry about this separation because everyone is talking and I think there is not that group to worry about.)

“As of now, looking at the situation, there is no cause for alarm. Everybody has said their piece. Wala naman malaking grupo na ikakabahala natin (There is no big group for us to worry about),” he added.


Acorda reminded police personnel, particularly those in the Mindanao region, to remain apolitical.

“Ang ating kapulisan naman may kanya-kanyang tungkulin, may kanya-kanyang sinumpaan when we took our oath (Our police force has its own duty when we took our oath). So we are supposedly apolitical and kung may mga political affiliations na nakikita natin ang ibang grupo (and if there are political affiliations from other groups) that are supporting such move to separate Mindanao, dapat hindi sasama ang ating kapulisan doon (our police force should not join them),” he said.

“If will see na may participation ang ating pulis or in any way supportive of this interest, we are bound to relieve or transfer them to make sure they are not a part of such act. But as of now, wala pa tayong nakikita (we have not seen any) but we remain vigilant on this. Yan ang trabaho ng ating (That’s the job of our) counter intelligence but so far, ‘yung ating mga commanders on the ground have given their commitment and full support to the leadership and to the Constitution that they have sworn to,” he added.

Acorda also expressed confidence that the PNP is “100 percent” against the separation of Mindanao from the Philippines.

Due to disappointments over Mindanao being left behind, former President Rodrigo Duterte earlier revealed their plan to revive the Mindanao initiative, which aims to separate the region from the Republic of the Philippines.

Duterte said that secession is not a rebellion nor a sedition, as it will take a legal process.

“Kasi ilang presidente na eh, walang nangyari sa Pilipinas (After several presidents, nothing happened in the Philippines),” he said.

Prior to this, Duterte has expressed displeasure to the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. pushing for Charter change through the People's Initiative.

United, undivided Philippines

Meanwhile, the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (Ulap) also rejected the calls for secession of Mindanao.

LCP president Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said they support the call of the Interior and Local Government for a united and undivided Philippines “to continue our achievements in peace, progress, and prosperity.”

“We cannot overemphasize the importance of working together, of moving as one, propelled by our genuine concern for the plight of our fellow Filipinos. Now, more than ever, we should be guided by compassion and sensitivity to attain progress together,” he added.

Rama said Filipinos are always tested by varying views of development but this should not mean that the collective efforts should precede people’s sense of decency, respect and care for each other.

“The League supports the duly constituted authority and remains steadfast in upholding the Constitution. We must continue to be guided by a selfless service, a hallmark of genuine public servants,” Rama said.

“Our strength as a nation lies in our ability to rise above partnership and self-interests. Our nemesis is a divided nation. We are stronger when we are united through God’s blessings,” he added.

The Ulap urged Filipinos to come together to achieve inclusive and sustainable development across the country.

Ulap National President Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo “Dax” Enriquez Cua underscored the importance of maintaining the integrity of the Philippines’ national territory while recognizing and celebrating diverse local and regional identities, including Mindanao.

“We believe that the entire nation, including Mindanao, with its abundant resources and untapped potential, can flourish through cooperative and collective efforts,” Cua stressed.

“We advocate for the active participation and empowerment of local communities, ensuring that their voices contribute to the national dialogue and are effectively addressed,” he added. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)


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