SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez on Sunday said that the presence of 45 members of the House of Representatives – all of whom are from Mindanao – in the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair (BPSF) in Sultan Kudarat is a testament to a united Philippines under the leadership of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.

“This remarkable turnout serves as a resounding testament to the unity and solidarity of Mindanao lawmakers to a united Philippines under the visionary leadership of President Marcos. It sends a powerful message that despite our diverse backgrounds and regional differences, we stand together as one nation, united in our commitment to building a brighter future for all Filipinos,” Speaker Romualdez said.

“The significant participation of lawmakers from across the political spectrum at the BPSF underscores our unwavering dedication to addressing the needs and aspirations of every Filipino, regardless of geographical location. It reflects our shared determination to promote inclusivity, progress and prosperity for all citizens, especially those in underserved regions like Sultan Kudarat,” the leader of the 300-plus-strong House of Representatives added.

The strong presence of the lawmakers, Speaker Romualdez said, serves as a resolute answer to any calls for secession or division within Mindanao.

“By coming together in solidarity, we demonstrate our steadfast rejection of any attempts to undermine the unity and integrity of our nation. We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of peace, unity and nation-building,” he expressed.

Among the Mindanao lawmakers who attended the BPSF in Sultan Kudarat include: Reps. Migz Nograles, Christian Unabia, Bambi Emano, Lordan Suan, Toto Suansing, Yasser Balindong, Divina Yu, John Flores, Khymer Olaso, Aldu Dujali, Joboy Aquino, Wilter Palma;

Sam Santos, Peter Miguel, Ed Lumayag, Alan Ecleo, Mannix Dalipe, Maricar Zamora, Bingo Matugas, Steve Solon, Glona Labadlabad, Pinpin Uy, Victoria Yu, Nelson Dayanghirang, Munir Arbison, Antonieta Eudela, Loreto Acharon, Alfelito Bascug, Mohamad Paglas, and Jason Almonte.

Majority Leader Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, Senior Deputy Speaker Aurelio “Dong” Gonzales, Jr. and 4Ps Partylist Rep. JC Abalos were also present to support the Sultan Kudarat BPSF.

The BPSF, a visionary government program conceived upon orders of President Marcos to bring government services closer to the people, offers hundreds of programs and projects for a two-day service caravan, including financial and rice assistance.

Romualdez said that the fact that these large number of lawmakers have gathered in Sultan Kudarat signifies their “deep-seated commitment to the ideals of a united Philippines.”

“The participation of lawmakers in events like the BPSF highlights the importance of collaborative efforts between the national government, local authorities and civil society organizations in addressing pressing issues and delivering essential services to communities in need. It underscores the power of collective action in driving positive change and creating a brighter future for all Filipinos,” he said.

“As we continue to work towards the advancement and development of our nation, let us draw inspiration from the unity and solidarity displayed at events like the BPSF. Let us reaffirm our commitment to working together, hand in hand, to build a stronger, more inclusive, and more prosperous Philippines,” Speaker Romualdez added.

Earlier, some 57 members of the House of Representatives signed a Unified Manifesto for National Integrity and Development that says no to an independent Mindanao as called for by former President Rodrigo Duterte.

A total of 53 of those who signed came from Mindanao, with three partylist representatives and one House member from the Visayas, all rejecting calls for Mindanao secession.

“We, the elected representatives of Mindanao in the House of Representatives, firmly oppose the calls for the secession of Mindanao from the Republic of the Philippines. Our stance is deeply rooted in our belief in national unity, the power of inclusive development, and the promise of a peaceful, progressive future for all Filipinos, including the indigenous people of Mindanao,” the manifesto read.

“Mindanao’s vibrant cultural diversity represents the nation’s broader principle of unity in diversity. We stand for fostering understanding and collaboration across all communities within the framework of the Republic, enriching our shared national identity and heritage,” it added.