LANAO del Sur 1st District Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong made a resounding statement on Sunday, affirming that the people of Mindanao are firmly against the separation of the region from the rest of the country. Adiong emphasized that the people of Mindanao have endured significant hardships and sacrifices to achieve the fruits of a peace process that is only beginning to bear positive results.
Adiong, a member of several House Committees including Mindanao Affairs, Muslim Affairs, and Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity, expressed his district’s unwavering commitment to President’s vision of a unified and stronger Philippines, known as “Bagong Pilipinas.”
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), two prominent revolutionary movements in Mindanao, have also halted their activities to contribute to the efforts of building a more cohesive and unified Philippines, as stated by Adiong in his Sunday statement.
Adiong further highlighted that Mindanao has been adequately represented in the government, with Mindanaoans holding prominent positions in the highest offices of the land. This serves as a testament to their integral role within the Philippine nation. Therefore, entertaining notions of secession undermines the hard-earned unity and stability that the country has worked tirelessly to maintain.
In a separate statement, 1-Rider Party-List Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, a member of the House Committee on Constitutional Amendments, emphasized that there is no constitutional provision allowing for the unilateral secession of Mindanao. Gutierrez stressed that dividing the nation would undermine the solidarity among Filipinos, disrupt economic stability, and hinder growth opportunities for both Mindanao and the rest of the country. He firmly believes that a united nation is crucial for collective progress and development.
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez echoed similar sentiments, stating that discussions on secession would be counterproductive and detrimental to Mindanao. Rodriguez acknowledged the economic progress and peace that have been achieved in most parts of the island, particularly in the Davao provinces and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). However, he emphasized that Mindanao still requires a larger budget allocation under the Marcos administration. Despite constituting 23 percent of the country’s population and contributing 25 percent of the national wealth, Mindanao continues to face significant challenges, with seven of the top ten poorest provinces in the Philippines located in the region.
Rodriguez called on Mindanaoans to trust and give President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. a chance to support and develop Mindanao. He believes that with increased support and investment, Mindanao can further thrive and contribute to the overall progress of the Philippines.
In conclusion, the people of Mindanao, represented by prominent leaders such as Rep. Zia Alonto Adiong, Rep. Ramon Rodrigo Gutierrez, and Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, firmly reject the idea of secession. They emphasize the importance of unity, stability, and collective progress for a stronger Philippines. Mindanao’s significant contributions to the nation’s wealth and population warrant increased support and development to address existing challenges and ensure a brighter future for the region and the entire country.
Source: The Manila Times