DND to secure PH sovereignty, says Teodoro on Mindanao independence push | Inquirer News

DND to secure PH sovereignty, says Teodoro on Mindanao independence push

/ 04:07 PM February 05, 2024

Defense secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr.

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (INQUIRER.net file photo/Ryan Leagogo)

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of National Defense (DND) will “strictly enforce” its mandate to protect the integrity of the national territory amid calls for a separate Mindanao, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. said on Monday.

“The mandate of the Department of National Defense is to secure the sovereignty of the State and integrity of the national territory as enshrined in the Constitution,” Teodoro said in a statement.


“We will strictly enforce this mandate whether externally or internally,” he added.


On January 31, former president Rodrigo Duterte claimed that local political forces would regroup in the Davao Region to start a movement for Mindanao’s independence.

The new movement, he said, “won’t be a bloody one” and would be headed by Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.

Philippine National Police chief General Benjamin Acorda Jr. warned of possible chaos should the proposal push through.

Two former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chiefs under the Duterte administration likewise rejected his call.

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez Jr., the AFP chief in 2018, said Duterte’s call would destabilize the country.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año said Duterte’s plan will be met with “resolute force.” Año served as the AFP chief until 2017.

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TAGS: DND, Gilberto Teodoro Jr., Mindanao, Rodrigo Duterte

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