Marcos Government May Respond to Duterte’s Secession Attempts in Philippines with Force

Duterte’s attempts at secession in Philippines could be met with force from Marcos government: report

The recent move by former Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte to advocate for the secession of his home region, Mindanao, from the rest of the nation has sparked a contentious response from the current government, with warnings of decisive action against such efforts.

Duterte’s call for secession, made public last week, has drawn criticism from local politicians who suggested he could face charges of sedition.

Tensions between Duterte and President Ferdinand Marcos Jr have escalated in recent times, primarily stemming from disagreements over proposed amendments to the constitution.

Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte (Credits: Reuters)

According to The Guardian, despite being allies for two years, Duterte and Marcos find themselves at odds over the constitutional reforms favored by Marcos, which aim to enhance incentives for foreign investment—a move staunchly opposed by Duterte, who accuses Marcos of leveraging constitutional changes to prolong his hold on power.

Speculation arises that Duterte’s resistance to constitutional amendments may also be fueled by concerns over potential investigations into his controversial “drug war,” notorious for its high death toll. Reports indicate Duterte’s apprehension regarding potential scrutiny into his administration’s handling of the drug-related issues.

In response to Duterte’s secessionist stance, Marcos’ National Security Advisor, Eduardo Ano, issued a firm warning, asserting that any attempts at secession would be met with uncompromising resistance from the government. Ano’s statement reflects the administration’s determination to maintain the unity and integrity of the nation.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines, under the leadership of General Romeo Brawner, has been actively reinforcing loyalty among troops stationed in Mindanao.

Brawner’s recent visits to military bases in the region aimed to reaffirm allegiance to the government amidst rumors—denied by authorities—of plots to destabilize Marcos’ presidency.

Meanwhile, the political rift between Duterte and Marcos has taken a personal turn, with Duterte accusing Marcos of substance abuse, while Duterte’s son has called for Marcos’ resignation.

These developments unfold against a backdrop of ongoing violence attributed to rebel factions, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), posing significant challenges to the nation’s stability.

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