The Institute for Autonomy and Governance condemns the reign of terror in Marawi City that destroys the shared values of all men and women of goodwill all over the world. Violent extremism has no place in Mindanao where people value respect for diversities, pluralism and multiculturalism as paths to sustainable peace. The violence in Marawi City is an assault against Islam as a religion of peace. The voice of reason and respect for the dignity of every human being as a shared value of the great religions of the world must prevail over few loud voices who threaten to destroy humanity and our way of life.
We call on government to act within the law to address the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism. It must move the Mindanao peace process forward as the platform for people of goodwill to make their voices for peace heard and to build institutions that can address the root causes of terror and violence. As well, the state of Martial Law in Mindanao must be so deliberately designed and enforced to be sensitive and not fuel the historical injustice deeply felt by the Moro people.
We call on religious leaders to have a unified stand and action against all forms of terrorism and extremism. Business and civil society leaders must voice and act out their condemnation of this global scourge that will condemn people and communities to poverty and despair.
Finally, this is our special call to our LGU partners and regional and local political leaders in the ARMM. Violence and extremism are not only a military and law enforcement issue. These are driven among others by weak and failed governance. Despite fiscal constraints, we call on our regional and local political leaders to seriously work towards making LGUs present, transparent, responsive and relevant to our communities.
May 24, 2017, Cotabato City.