FORMER president Rodrigo Duterte pushed for Mindanao’s independence if the initiative to change the constitution would push through.
He said there is no reason why an independent Mindanao won’t succeed given its abundant natural resources, said the former president in a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 30.
He said the secession will not be through bloodshed or rebellion as it will follow the standards established by the United Nations.
“Punta tayo doon sa United Nations then we will file a petition, mga taga Mindanao mag signature campaign lahat,” he said.
He wanted Mindanao to be independent as nothing has happened even after so many presidents have been seated.
The former president hints there will be changes, particularly regrouping in the political arena in Davao. However, he said it is not “necessarily a party” but a movement.
“We will just forego yang pangalan na yan, we will try to talk at each other, if I can gather enough, what I need kung sakali lang yung mga tao lang na may prinsipyo,” he said when asked regarding whether the unnamed movement be “Hakbang ng Maisug.”
Former house speaker and Davao del Norte congressman Pantaleon Alvarez will lead the movement to start the process of independent Mindanao. The former president, however, did not disclose the timeline of the said movement.
Singapore as a model
For his part, Alvarez cited as an example the case of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in the 1960s to become an independent state.
Should Mindanao secede, it will take into account the outcome of the former leaders of Singapore, said Alvarez.
“The size of Singapore is exactly as small as Siargao Island of Surigao del Norte, no natural resources, no agriculture, even water is imported from Malaysia. If the leaders then have not mustered enough courage, maybe until now Singapore is still part of a third world country,” he said.
“Look at Singapore now, asa na ang Singapore? A first world,” Alvarez added.
The former house speaker said the asset of Singapore is good governance, and Mindanao has several competent leaders who can run the government. He added they will not shortcut the process as they will conduct information drives so that Mindanaoans will be fully educated before casting their votes on whether or not they want independence.
“Naturally, gusto ka nga ang imong mga anak naay kaugmaon, there is no other way for Mindanao to rise except to chart our own destiny,” he said.
“At this time, we have to educate the people about this advocacy. We have to talk to the leaders and convince them. Pag okay na, maybe we can form a solid group to push the realization of that advocacy,” he added.
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