President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. on Thursday said the call to separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines is as an attempt to “destroy the country.”
“It is a grave violation of our Constitution. This is not the Bagong Pilipinas (New Philippines), which we are trying to shape, but it is a destruction of our country, the Philippines,” Marcos said in his speech during the Commemoration of the Constitution Day organized by the Manila Overseas Press Club in Makati.
The President also called to the public to reject the said movement.
“We must galvanize our people and rally them to preserve our republic and everything that our flag symbolizes, its three stars and its sun. Let us not turn our back to our flag,” Marcos said.
The President said the movement, which was announced by the former President Rodrigo R. Duterte, is based on “constitutional travesty.”
“The Constitution calls for a united undivided country. It calls for eternal cohesion. For this reason, unlike in other constitutions there is nothing in ours that allows the breaking up of this union, such as an exit provision,” the President said.
He vowed to “sternly enforce” the country’s Constitution and laws against such attempts to split the country.
“Our national territory will not be diminished, even by one square inch. We will continue to defend from any threats, external and internal. We will not allow even an iota of suggestion of its breaking apart,” Marcos said.
The President stressed there is no need for such independence movement especially with the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
“The current leadership of BARMM itself has repudiated this preposterous proposal. And so did the other political leaders of Mindanao, because, this is because there can be, in fact there is already genuine and effective local autonomy throughout our country, especially in the BARMM without compromising our national integrity in the slightest degree,” Marcos said.
Marcos vowed to provide the necessary support to BARMM including the successful conduct of its first ever election next year.
“Giving the vote to the people to choose their leaders is the logical, succession, evolution, to the grant of self-rule to your land…We will be by your side, to make this very historic election, this very historical and important event a success,” the President said in his speech during the 17th Meeting of the Intergovernmental Relations Body (IGRB) at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City..
“A stronger BARMM, is a stronger Mindanao, a stronger Mindanao means a stronger Philippines, bringing us closer to achieving our agendas,” he added.