MANILA, Philippines - The government debunked on Friday the declaration of an independent "Bangsamoro Republik" by a former Muslim rebel leader, saying that there is only one government in the country.
"There is only one government in the Republic of the Philippines," said deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte in a news briefing.
She made the remarks in reaction to the reported declaration of independence of the "Bangsamoro Republik" by Nur Misuari, the founding leader of the former rebel group of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
In Misuari's declaration of independence, he also allegedly declared the so-called "Bangsamoro Republik" covering the whole Mindanao as well as Sulu and Palawan provinces.
Valte said that those places covered by Misuari's reported republic are still being led by duly elected officials.
"Perhaps, it's time to go to the elected representatives of the people there if they support this call of Misuari in saying that they have declared themselves an independent state from the government," she added.
Misuari reportedly declared independence as he alleged that the Philippine government failed to fully implement the 1996 peace agreement between the government and the MNLF. But Valte said that the Aquino administration continues to honor the 1996 peace pact.