BY ROGER M. BALANZA
“Pamatong republic is foolishness”
Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has summed up this idea proposed by lawyer Eli Pamatong into one word: Foolishness
Pamatong was in the city last week to launch in a press conference his twin ideas that would declare Mindanaoas an independent state for Christians. In a separate spin that smacks of anti-Muslim sentiments, he flayed the alleged Muslim reprisal of Christians in Mindanao; wanted the island to be ruled by Visayans and took a dig at the Tagalogs’ political dominance in the country including Mindanao.
In his Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa-Pinobre Edition television program on Sunday, Duterte said Pamatong’s idea falls flat on his face.
“A state should never be created for the sake of religion,” said Duterte in the ABS/CBN program co-hosted by lawyer Geraldine Tiu, referring to Pamatong’s idea to create a Christian state out of Mindanao.
Duterte said Mindanao may suffer from lack of attention from the Manila government, but Pamatong’s idea is draw a wedge among Mindanaoans. “His idea creates animosity and divisiveness between Christians and Muslims,” he said.
People seeking solution to Mindanao’s problem need to “go deeper” other than forming a separate state that promotes hatred and closes down avenues for peace, said Duterte, noting that a press kit on the Pamatong proposal that landed on his desk contained photos of alleged Muslim violence against Christians.