Former senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan has described President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recent visit to Mindanao as a “modest step” towards reconciliation amidst calls for secession by his predecessor. The visit took place during the observation of “Constitution Day 2024” in Makati City on February 8, where Marcos addressed the issue of separating Mindanao from the Philippines.
During his speech, Marcos stated that the call for separation was “doomed to fail, for it is anchored on false premises, not to mention a sheer constitutional travesty.” This idea of separating Mindanao was initially floated by former president Rodrigo Duterte, following reports that the administration had allegedly allowed entry to International Criminal Court investigators looking into Duterte’s controversial drug war.
Marcos’s visit to Mindanao on February 7 was to attend the inauguration of the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project, the distribution of land e-titles to agrarian reform beneficiaries, and the signing of contracts for the Davao Public Transport Modernization Project. Honasan, in a statement on Sunday, emphasized the significance of Marcos’s trip, calling it a “significant stride toward promoting unity, reconciliation, and healing.”
Honasan further stated, “This journey has commenced with a demonstration of humility, statesmanship, duty, and patriotism, surpassing partisan politics.” He believes that by joining forces with the country’s leaders, the Filipino people can collectively address the pressing issues that impact the nation’s best interests. Honasan aspires to witness a gradual collaboration among leaders, where they engage in constructive discussions regarding the concerns that affect citizens, ultimately propelling the country forward.
Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity, Carlito Galvez Jr., also appealed to Filipinos to support the Marcos administration’s peace, reconciliation, and unity agenda. Galvez emphasized that the call for separation goes against the letter and spirit of the Philippine Constitution, which serves as the foundation of the nation’s identity. He stated, “The dividends of peace are upon us and are now being felt by everyone. When we, as Filipinos, are united, there is peace, development, and prosperity. But when we, as a people, are divided, there is instability, underdevelopment, and disorder.”
The visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Mindanao holds significant implications for the ongoing discussions surrounding the issue of secession. It signifies a step towards reconciliation and unity, as leaders come together to address the concerns that impact the nation’s best interests. The demonstration of humility, statesmanship, and duty showcased during the visit sets a positive example for future collaboration among leaders.
It is important to note that the call for separation goes against the principles outlined in the Philippine Constitution, which serves as the bedrock of the nation’s identity. The emphasis on unity, peace, and prosperity highlights the importance of collective action and collaboration among Filipinos. By working together, the country can overcome challenges and move towards a brighter future.
As the discussions surrounding Mindanao’s status continue, it is crucial to prioritize dialogue, understanding, and respect for the constitutional framework that guides the nation. The visit of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. serves as a reminder of the need for unity and reconciliation, as the country strives to address pressing issues and propel itself forward.
Source: The Manila Times