PH ready to use 'forces' to quell any secession attempt--Año

PH ready to use ‘forces’ to quell any secession attempt – Año

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
, / 06:32 PM February 04, 2024

PH ready to use 'forces' to quell any secession attempt--Año

Former President Rodrigo Duterte gestures as he delivers his 6th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representative in Quezon city on July 26, 2021. (REUTERS file photo)

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine government is ready to use “authority and forces” against attempts to divide the nation, a security official said Sunday, after former President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to separate some southern islands from the rest of the archipelago.

Duterte has called for the independence of his hometown Mindanao from the Philippines as his alliance with President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. disintegrated this week over disagreements around efforts to amend the constitution.


Marcos said amending the 1987 constitution was meant to ease foreign investments, but Duterte accused him of using constitutional change to stay in power.


National security adviser Eduardo Año said in a statement that any attempt to secede “will be met by government with resolute force,” citing “recent calls to separate Mindanao,” but without specifically naming Duterte.

READ: Ex-Pres. Duterte may be held liable for sedition – Romualdos of Camiguin

“The national government will not hesitate to use its authority and forces to quell and stop any and all attempts to dismember the Republic,” Año warned.

He explained calls for secession can reverse the gains of government’s peace deal with former separatist groups.

“We emphasize that calls for the division of our country only serve to undermine our collective progress and prosperity,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“The strength of our country lies in our unity, and any attempt to sow division must be rejected by all sectors unequivocally,” he noted.

Violence and conflict had plagued Mindanao for decades as government battled insurgents and extremists, which has discouraged investments and left many villages in poverty.


The region’s largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), had signed a peace agreement with Philippine government in 2014, withdrawing their fight for independence in exchange for enhanced autonomy in a Muslim region called the Bangsamoro.

Bangsamoro chief minister Ahod Ebrahim said in a statement on Friday he remains committed to the peace agreement, while government peace process adviser Carlito Galvez Jr. called on Filipinos to “turn away from any call…to destabilize” the country.

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Meanwhile, Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Romeo Brawner told soldiers on Saturday “to remain united and loyal to the constitution and the chain of command.”

TAGS: national security, Philippines, Secession

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