MANILA – The call by former president Rodrigo Duterte to break Mindanao from the Republic has faced opposition from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a statement on Monday, the DOJ said it "vehemently opposes calls for the secession of Mindanao or other parts of the country, and stands firmly against any attempts to undermine the unity and territorial integrity of the Philippines, as enshrined in the Constitution."
The DOJ explained that secession is regarded as contrary to the principles of the country's democratic society, as stated in Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution.
"As the principal law agency of the Executive branch, the DOJ remains committed to protecting our sovereignty and upholding the sanctity of the highest law of the land. Our nation's strength lies in unity, and we call upon all Filipinos to reject secessionist ideologies and work together for a strong, united, and undivided Bagong Pilipinas," it added.
Many local Mindanao leaders have already expressed opposition to the call made by former president Duterte to separate Mindanao from the rest of the country.
Over the weekend, National Security Adviser (NSA) Eduardo Año assured the government would do everything to prevent any attempt to dismember the country.
“Any attempt to secede any part of the Philippines will be met by the government with resolute force," Año said in a statement as he rejected the idea of separating Mindanao from the rest of the Philippines.
The government, he said, would remain steadfast in securing the sovereignty and integrity of the national territory. (PNA)