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Guest Editorial | The sad plight of Mindanao

On the November 10-17, 1988 issue of Mindanao Times, we came across this article written by Soledad Duterte, mother of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

In this article, she expressed her desire for the new administration of then-Pres. Cory Aquino to look into the situation in Mindanao. We take the liberty of reprinting this article as we move closer to the commemoration of the EDSA Revolution.

If there is any place in the Philippines where Filipinos want to retire and engage in small scale industry, that place is Mindanao, preferably Davao City.

The vast agricultural lands not fully developed, the big income in taxes of multinational corporations remitted to the respective national offices, the administration of local government, still high centralized, are the factors that contribute to the slow growth of Mindanao economically.

In the last visit of Sen. Rene Saguisag to Davao, he saw and heard the sentiments expressed by the small people, I mean the grassroots, of how we feel about the present administration.

Humbly speaking, I asked him if Congress could do something to hasten the decentralization of government function to encourage more people’s participation in running the government system.

People complain of poor and inadequate farm to market roads, insufficient funds for its maintenance aggravated by the use of heavy vehicles, that traverse the whole island of Mindanao resulting in the complete deterioration of our roads built thirty years ago which were meant only for light and not to heavy vehicles.

The question is, are we going to suffer long for the inadequacy of funds to answer for our needs?

For us in Mindanao, the perennial conflict of our Muslim brothers can never be resolved unless autonomy or Federal State could be adopted.

Long have we been wanting to show that we can be self-reliant, that we are not subservient for anybody’s charity if only the system of government can give the real equity of our finances remitted to the national coffers, depriving the provinces the use of needed money.

Let us not lengthen the suffering and deprivation and frustrations of Mindanao people, lest God forbids, the situation, like an active volcano, might erupt anytime for we know that the consequence would be impossible to control.

Pres. Aquino, please listen to the clamor of the people of Mindanao.

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