I first became aware of these separatist moves when I moved to Cagayan de Oro to study, most especially the quest for a Mindanao state led by former City mayor Reuben Canoy but this eventually fizzled out. Establishing a separate state does not a solution make. If only local leaders know the extent of their powers under the Local Government Code, there would be no need to be so dependent on Manila. Instead, local and national leaders have focused so much on the padrino system that local managers have lost their capability for greatness and greater local development and independence.
I hope the towns which were proposed to be part of the Entity reject the agreement during the plebiscite and I hope the Commission on Elections and the Philippine National Police make sure that no coercion occurs among the residents of these areas during the voting. After the exercise, the liberation armies involved in the agreement should accept & respect the will of the people and abide by the results of the plebiscite.
There is no doubt that we owe so much to our Muslim brothers. They have been ignored for so long, but the gargantuan failures of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) authority should have served as an example of the zero capability of the liberation movement leaders for self-rule. Let's review this agreement again, please.