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TURNING POINT: Separation: A Deranged Maneuver


NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 7 February)—Call it by any name and do it by any method but to dismember a nation is to destroy it.

The call of former president Rodrigo Duterte and Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez to separate Mindanao from the Philippines undermines the integrity of the country and subverts the established order. It should be stopped right and there because such clamor might agitate certain sectors that could lead to some undesirable events that would drench Mindanao again in a bloodbath as before.

In the recent past, several groups had advocated the independence of Mindanao, including the Sulu archipelago and Palawan from the Philippines. Such armed groups included the Mindanao Independence Movement, the Moro National Liberation Front, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.

The decades of ferocious arm struggle to achieve their cherished dream had brought so much uncertainty, pain and suffering to the hapless people of Mindanao.

The government persistently negotiated and succeeded in the eventual establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The effort works. Mindanao has the grasp of the elusive peace for the first time, notwithstanding some disturbing incidents now and then. The relative peace spells progress and development to the Land of Promise. Fulfillment has finally come. Paved road network crisscrosses the island. Ports and airports have been built or improved, driving, thus, to full gear trade and commerce, including tourism, and the entire economy of the island for that matter.

And now here’s the former president Digong Duterte claiming that all presidents of the Republic (that includes himself) had done nothing to improve Mindanao, that is why he is calling for its separation from the rest of the archipelago. By the look of it, Digong is attempting to re-spark the embers of the past secessionist movements in Mindanao. As usual, he is reckless and irresponsible and is now a serious threat to peace.

The move is evidently a self-serving response, to the demon that shadows him—his prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his murderous achievements. He would, therefore, establish a kingdom that would be beyond the claws of the ICC.

It is a deranged maneuver.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)

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