National unity over independent Mindanao, says former regional official | Inquirer News

National unity over independent Mindanao, says former regional official

/ 05:08 PM February 05, 2024

 Mindanao independence

MANILA, Philippines — An independent Mindanao could thrive, yet it is important for the country to remain intact because there is strength in numbers.

Suharto Mangudadatu, who served as a local government executive and lawmaker in Sultan Kudarat before his appointment as head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, made the remark on Monday following former president Rodrigo Duterte’s call for an independent Mindanao.


“While an independent Mindanao could thrive with its abundant resources and capable governance, it is highly important that we cherish and preserve our collective heritage as one united Filipino nation,” Mangudadatu said in a statement.


On Jan. 31, 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.

Duterte said Mindanao would rather be “independent since nothing has happened in the Philippines after so many presidents.”

But Mangudadatu, who served as a town mayor, two-term representative and the governor of Sultan Kudarat, said that “cooperation and collaboration are the keys to ensure that the synergy of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao remains a pillar of national stability and growth.”

He also said talks of division could adversely affect the country’s economic strength.

“Division can only affect the full potential of our country’s economic strength,” Mangudadatu said.

“Let us approach this matter with practicality and forward-thinking, understanding that our strength lies in coming together, not in being divided,” he added.

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TAGS: Mindanao, Rodrigo Duterte

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