As our nation confronts the socio-economic challenges caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine, such as rising cost of fuel and commodities, and the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I join President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., in his call for all Filipinos to unite and come together.

Last week, I held several dialogues with our peace partners from the Bangsamoro in the cities of Davao and Cotabato. Our discussions were very substantive and fruitful. They reaffirmed, without equivocation, their commitment to securing and building on the gains of the Peace Process and fully supporting all initiatives towards this by the administration of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. We are at a critical juncture on the implementation of the signed peace agreements on the Bangsamoro and the transformation and normalization of former combatants, their families, and communities. Political support for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is most crucial now than at any time previously. We therefore urge all stakeholders in the Bangsamoro region to join together in unity and place foremost the National Interest and the welfare of the Bangsamoro people before any and all political ambition, self interest, and personal or pecuniary gain. We invite all to heed the President’s words and reject the culture and politics of division, animosity, and fear.

At the national level, we are one with the call of Jose C. Faustino, Jr., Senior Undersecretary and Officer-in-Charge of the Department of National Defense, to stand united under the leadership of His Excellency President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. to bring stability and progress to our nation.

The recent disinformation efforts against the Honorable Executive Secretary Victor D. Rodriguez should be rejected as malicious and underhanded political propaganda in an attempt to sow discord within the Executive Branch.

As a nation, we cannot afford to be overcome by bitter partisan political divisiveness. We need to work cohesively and, with purpose, move decisively in one direction so that we, as one nation and people, realize our collective and shared aspiration of achieving national reconciliation, healing and unity for the benefit of the Filipino people.