THERE is no harm if the government exercises restraint in seeking help or intervention from other countries in resolving the Marawi City problem; after all, there’s a United Nations resolution on state nonintervention of purely domestic affairs.
Other members of the UN are similarly reminded of UN General Assembly Resolution 2131 (XX), entitled Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of their Independence and Sovereignty, unanimously adopted on December 21, 1965, by 109 votes to none, with one abstention, which enjoins that:
“1. No State has the right to intervene directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personalities of the state or its political, economic and cultural elements are condemned.
“2. No State may use or encourage the use of economic, political or any other type of measures to coerce another state in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights or to secure from it advantages of any kind. Also, no State shall organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed toward the violent overthrow of the regime of another State or interfere in civil strife in another State.
“3. The strict observance of these obligations is an essential condition to insure that nations live together in peace with one another, since the practice of any form of intervention not only violates the spirit and letter of the Charter of the UN but also leads to the creation of situations which threaten international peace and security.
“5. Every State has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State.
“6. All States shall respect the right of self-determination and independence of peoples and nations, to be freely expressed without any foreign pressure, and with absolute respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Consequently, all States shall contribute to the complete elimination of racial discrimination and colonialism in all its forms and manifestations.”
As a founding and Charter member of the UN, the Philippines has an exemplary record in the observance of, and respect for, the noble purposes and principles of this world organization, as well as in the implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The problem in Mindanao, now under martial law, is purely an internal affair. The limitations, under which friendly states may cooperate in the solution of a domestic affair, are clear. As a UN member and as a Third World nation, the Philippines maintains friendship, understanding, support and cooperation of all other states to achieve national unity and socioeconomic development of its people, but not at the expense of national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Since it became a fully independent and sovereign nation, the country has remarkably done its domestic affairs, particularly its problems of national unity and socioeconomic development, with a balanced application of state powers, taking into full consideration the interplay of diverse ideas borne by its historical traditions and its peculiar Constitutional system.
In the search of a just, fair, dignified and peaceful solution to the problems in the Southern Philippines, over which the Islamic Foreign Ministers Conference and its secretary-general have expressed concern since early-1973, the country has always adhered to the following Constitutional principles and policies:
“1. The Philippines is a republican state. Sovereignty resides in the people and all government authority emanates from them.
“2. The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national policy, adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the land, and adheres to the policy of peace, equality, justice, freedom, cooperation and amity with all nations.
“3. The State shall guarantee and promote autonomy of local government units, especially the barrio, to ensure their fullest development as self-reliant communities.”
There are now 103,831,547 Filipinos based on the latest UN estimates, the equivalent of 1.38 percent of the total world population, and thus ranks the Philippines the 13th most populous country in the world.
As a constitutional democracy, the country looks on its 1987 Constitution as the fundamental law of the land. It may be worthwhile noting that distinguished Muslim brothers from Mindanao helped in framing the Constitution.
There is no official state religion in the Philippines. The Philippines has declared itself a secular state in the Constitution, or in the Revolutionary Charter of the First Philippine Republic in 1898. Since then, the fundamental freedom of religious belief and worship has been reaffirmed and enshrined in the Philippine Constitutions of 1935, 1973 and 1987.
In retrospect, it’s prudent to react rationally rather than instinctively on any armed conflict, such as the Marawi City incident.
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