By Priam Nepomuceno

OPAPRU Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU) Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday called on all Filipinos to shun any calls that would destabilize and divide the country, stressing that a united nation is vital in achieving development.

“When we, as Filipinos, are united, there is peace, development and prosperity. But when we, as a people, are divided, there is instability, underdevelopment and disorder,” Galvez said in a statement.

The government’s top peace adviser said calls for the separation of Mindanao from the Philippines are “an anathema to the letter and spirit of the Philippine Constitution”, which serves as the foundation of the country’s identity.

Galvez also said the move goes against the principles of a country which is already benefiting from the comprehensive peace process that has put an end to decades of armed conflict in Mindanao.

“As Filipinos, let us therefore continue supporting the Marcos administration’s peace, reconciliation and unity agenda. The dividends of peace are upon us and are now being felt by everyone,” he added.

The OPAPRU chief also stressed that former members of revolutionary groups are now playing an active part in nation-building.

“Mindanao has already shed its image as a land of volatility, violence and armed struggle. It has now become a symbol of hope, mutual understanding and solidarity, and most of all, a shining example that good things come to those who choose the path of peace,” Galvez said.

He added the country cannot go back to “square one” in its move to achieve lasting peace.

“We must learn our lessons from the past and apply these to all aspects of our life as peace-loving citizens. Let us always choose peace and remain united, as it is the only way to move forward as one people and one nation,” Galvez said. (PNA)