June 19, 2024

The Insider News

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Mindanao lawmakers reject FPRRD, ex-Speaker Alvarez’s call for Mindanao separation

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A GROUP of Mindanao lawmakers on Wednesday opposed the proposal put forth by former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and ex-Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to separate Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines.

In a press conference, House Majority Leader and Zamboanga City Rep. Manuel Jose “Mannix” M. Dalipe, Camiguin Rep. Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, and Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers underscored the importance of national unity and rejecting any notion that could potentially divide the country.

“That is their opinion. I don’t share the same idea. Ayaw namin humiwalay,” Dalipe told reporters. “I still believe that we, it is of more  benefit that Mindanao be part of this republic. ‘Pag humiwalay, madedihado pa.”

“Hindi ko nga maintindihan ang statement nila. The last time we checked, according to DBM (Department of Budget and Management), ‘yung isang distrito nga [sa Davao], P51B, anong hihiwalay? Dahil nakakuha ka na ng P51 billion at ‘yung mga ibang distrito, napabayaan n’yo at hindi n’yo naalagaan, tapos iniisip n’yo sarili n’yo lang. Bakit naman ganun? So why, I don’t see, right now we’re good and I don’t see any benefit for this country for Mindanao to separate. Tapos ‘pag titingnan mo ng buo, hindi maganda sa ekonomiya na hihihiwalay ‘yung Mindanao, maiiwan e,” Dalipe said. “Okay lang siguro ‘yung mga nakakuha na ng P51B na sa kanilang distrito o sa kanilang syudad, e paano naman ‘yung mga wala pa, ihihiwalay nyo na? So I disagree with them.”

Romualdo explained that advocating for the separation of Mindanao goes against the principles of a unified nation and may lead to unintended consequences.

“Tinitingnan ko ‘yung seal ng House. Tanggalan ng isang star ‘yun, dalawa na lang. Luzon Visayas Mindanao ‘yan, pag tanggalin mo, magiging dalawa. Ang panget-pangit,” Romualdo said.

Rodriguez said he is committed to preserving the territorial integrity of the Philippines and promoting harmonious relationships among its diverse regions.

“To be able [to move forward], through progress [and] through development, [we have] to stop all these kinds of proposals because we want to be a strong and united Philippines,” Rodriguez said.

“I am saying that let’s give this administration a chance with President Bongbong Marcos, who is inclusive, including Mindanao, to be able to provide and fulfill the promise of Mindanao,” Rodriguez added.

While Barbers is open to the idea, the proposal is not timely.

“Personally, my opinion is that I don’t want to shoot it down right away. Because pag-aralan, tingnan natin, if this will redound to more benefits for the people, bakit naman hindi? But as it is today, medyo sa tingin ko malabo pa.”

“Malabo pa ‘yun. At because malabo pa ‘yan at hindi ‘yan ang ating priority. Dapat siguro pag-usapan natin muna ‘yung more important matters at hand,” Barbers said.