July 26, 2022 (1:04 PM)

2 min read


SONA. President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. took the stage yesterday as he delivered his first State of the Nation Address at the Batasang Pambasa Complex. Photo credits to RTVM

DAVAO CITY–Despite his overwhelming win in Mindanao in the 2022 elections, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, skipped several issues affecting the Philippine South.

Experts from the Ateneo de Davao University in yesterday’s post-SONA analysis agreed Marcos failed to mention issues from mining, corruption, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) peace process, and Marawi’s rehabilitation.

“Although merong mga preservation of natural resources, pero what about the mining? Issue natin dito sa Mindanao yun,” Mr. Ramon Beleno III from the Political Science and History Department said.

Recently, mining companies in Mindanao have come under fire for violating environmental regulations, while local officials have been divided in terms of open-pit mining in Tampakan, South Cotabato.

While Marcos’ mining policy was unclear, his stance on corruption was totally absent.

“If you remember, ang kanyang Executive Order Number 1 was to abolish the Presidental Anti-Corruption Commission. We were expecting baka meron siyang plano na anti-corruption drive pero wala siyang na mention,” Beleno said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kenny Lloyd Angon, Deputy Director of the Al Qalam Institute, expressed dismay over Marcos’ failure to mention the BARMM.

“I was actually somehow disappointed because he was very consistent… there was never a mention of BARMM or a clearer vision for peace, unfortunately.”

It can be remembered that in the May 2022 elections, the United Bangsamoro Justice Party (UBJP) endorsed former Vice President Leni Robredo’s presidential bid. 

“That might also be a factor to be considered why the President [Marcos] did not mention the BARMM,” Angon said.

Aside from the BARMM peace process, neither did the President state plans for Marawi City’s rehabilitation. The Marawi compensation law continues to elude Marawi’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), delaying their recovery from the 2017 siege.

“At the end of the SONA, medyo mixed reactions. Ang sarap kasi pakinggan if you notice. He can play with the rhetorics but ang laking question mark dito sa akin–with all this being said, how do we implement this?” Beleno said.

In the May 2022 elections, Marcos won in 25 out of 27 provinces and 32 out of 33 cities in Mindanao.

End the silence of the gagged!

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