MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has opposed the former president Rodrigo Duterte’s proposition to separate Mindanao from the Republic on Monday, February 5.
“Vehemently opposes calls for the Mindanao separation or other parts of the country, and stands firmly against any attempts to undermine the unity and territorial integrity of the Philippines, as enshrined in the Constitution,” the DOJ said.
The DOJ clarified that the act of secession goes against the tenets of the nation’s democratic society, as outlined in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.
“As the principal law agency of the Executive branch, the DOJ remains committed to protecting our sovereignty and upholding the sanctity of the highest law of the land. Our nation’s strength lies in unity, and we call upon all Filipinos to reject secessionist ideologies and work together for a strong, united, and undivided Bagong Pilipinas,” they added.
Numerous leaders in Mindanao have voiced their disapproval of the former president Duterte’s proposal to separate the region from the rest of the country.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año, during the weekend, provided assurance that the government is committed to preventing any efforts to dismantle the nation.
“Any attempt to secede any part of the Philippines will be met by the government with resolute force,” Año said in a statement as he rejected the idea of separating Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines.
He emphasized that the government would unwaveringly uphold the sovereignty and integrity of the national territory.
Apart from government entities, the Bangsamoro government and certain Mindanao governors also stand against Duterte’s call for secession.
In individual statements, the governors of Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao del Sur expressed their opposition to the proposal of Mindanao separation.
“Mindanao’s concerns should be resolved without pursuing secession…It would disrupt the interconnected productivity of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that has long sustained our national stability,” Sultan Kudarat Gov. Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu said.