IT is amusing that the reaction to the opposition to the idea of the secession of Mindanao floated by PRRD has gone ballistic from over-reaction to the utterly absurd.It is unfortunate that PBBM has been swayed to adopting such misplaced response.A forgotten idea that birthed 40 years ago owing to government's neglect of Mindanao has been resurrected by PRRD evidently as a peripheral reaction to the discredited and graft-clothed People's Initiative surreptitiously initiated by power hungry politicians.An idea of a Mindanao secession can not be absolutely said to be doomed to fail. Any advocacy or a concept must pass the crucible of a debate prior to the determination of its success or failure.Espousing an idea, no matter how outrageous, the matter of a secession is certainly not, can not be a travesty of the Constitution. It is covered by the guaranty of freedom of speech or of expression.What is violative of the Constitution is the espousal of violence and intimidation of the people to bring the downfall of the government and the prevention of the enforcement of laws as well as defying the constituted authorities.Neither is such advocacy a crime of sedition, which is rising tumultuously and publicly by means of violence or intimidation to prevent, among others, the promulgation and execution of laws and the exercise of the powers and duties of government officials.Nor is it rebellion, which is rising publicly and taking arms against the government.A secession by an overwhelming majority of a part of a population and a territory of a country done peacefully is sanctioned by — and not prohibited by international law, as exemplified by the secession of Singapore from Malaysia, Sukovo from Serbia and East Timor from Indonesia.The secession is anchored on the principle that the people have the right to self-determination. They have the right to choose the kind of government they want, to choose the officials who will govern them and to determine their future.Our Constitution enshrined the principle: Sovereignty resides in the people and all authority emanates from them.If the sovereign people of Mindanao opts to secede and establish its own state in a peaceful manner, it has that inherent right. Such is premised on the principle of ' Salud populi est supremacy lex '(The welfare of the people is the supreme law).If it is the welfare of the people of Mindanao to create its own republic for the reason that the present system does not work to their welfare, then they can not be deprived of their right to self-determination.An idea can not be crushed by threat or intimidation. It can only be supplanted by a better idea. You do not crush an idea. You crush a rebellion or an uprising.The oppositors to the idea of a secession instead of lashing at the proponent should determine its whys and wherefores then provide the appropriate and effective response.