Violent extremism a threat without Bangsamoro Law: Esperon

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2018 04:30 PM

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Violent extremism may ensue if Congress fails to pass the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon said Tuesday. 

Extremism is fueled by a "complex mixed of grievances" resulting from the loss of ancestral homelands, poverty, marginalization and poor governance, Esperon told senators.
 
"The passage of the BBL is arguably the most effective legislative response to these grievances," he said during the resumption of Senate hearings into the measure. 

The proposed law will allow the country's main Muslim separatist group to transition into a political organization that participates in elections, he said.
 
Failure to pass the BBL, on the other hand, will result in "the exact opposite -- a grimmer picture that is already taking form because of continuous delay [in the law's passage]." 

The Moro people are growing dissatisfied with the peace process, as indicated by the 2016 bombings in Davao City and the terrorist siege of Marawi City last year, he said.

"One of the most pronounced threats is that of Muslim communities turning away from the peace process and providing dangerous opportunities for recruitment by violent extremist groups and the propagation of more radical views among the youth and the vulnerable sectors in Mindanao," he said. 

"And that scenario -- the possibility of war in Mindanao -- as we have seen it and President Duterte is warning about, is not far off," he said.

ABS-CBN News, 23 January 2018