The provincial governments of Maguindanao del Sur and Sultan Kudarat showed support in affirming their commitment to a united nation.
Maguindanao del Sur Governor Bai Mariam Sangki Mangudadatu emphasized that advocating for Mindanao’s secession would undermine the Constitutional rights of the region’s residents and jeopardize the government’s initiatives to strengthen the entire Philippines.
She further stated that the solution to regional challenges does not lie in the separation of Mindanao.
“Mindanao is a mirror of diversity, progress and preserving peace. Unity leads to peace, development and prosperity. Contrary to instability, underdevelopment and disorder,” Sangki Mangudadatu said.
“We affirm that secession is not the answer to Mindanao’s concern. It denies our people the rights embodied by the constitution, including the destruction of our territorial integrity compromising our efforts to build a stronger nation,” she added.
She reiterated her steadfast stance that “the residents of Mindanao possess rights and political options granted by the Constitution and laws.” Emphasizing their commitment to democracy, she highlighted that prioritizing their rights is their primary concern.
“In the spirit of peace and unity, we turn down any call or movement that aims to destabilize our government and eventually that would divide our nation, much the movement that would separate Mindanao with our beloved country the Philippines,” she said.
“We are for one and united Philippines,” she added.
Governor Datu Pax Ali Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat expressed his dedication to democracy, inclusivity, and justice, advocating for unity and a cohesive Philippines.
He firmly rejected proposals for the secession of Mindanao, asserting that the region’s concerns should be addressed without pursuing separation from the rest of the country. Mangudadatu emphasized that secession would only disrupt the productivity of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.
“Mindanao’s concerns should be resolved without pursuing secession. Such division would infringe the fundamental doctrines of our Constitution. It would disrupt the interconnected productivity of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that has long sustained our national economy, and risk fracturing the foundation of our unity and national stability,” he said.
“In the spirit of unity, let us reaffirm our commitment to the principles of democracy, inclusivity, and justice. We must move forward stronger as one undivided nation under a collective objective of stability and progress,” he added.
The governor underscored the imperative of maintaining unity and indivisibility for the preservation of peace, heritage, and progress in Mindanao. He stated that a united approach has been instrumental in transforming the region into a land characterized by peace, solidarity, and progress.
“Thus, it is evident that the course of unity is not merely an option but an imperative to the persistent harmony that leads Mindanao to this day. Termination of armed conflicts in Mindanao is a milestone of the comprehensive peace process,” the governor said.
He highlighted that the resolution of armed conflicts in Mindanao signifies the success of dialogue, comprehension, and reconciliation, and he stressed that adopting a divisive perspective undermines these achievements.
Ali Mangudadatu also emphasized that the people of Mindanao have the freedom to determine their political preferences within the boundaries of the law. He underscored the importance of democratic governance, emphasizing that individual liberties should not be separated from the collective responsibility to respect and comply with the laws of the country.