DAVAO CITY — Moro group Suara Bangsamoro condemned the killing of more than a hundred individuals in Paris by armed men identifying themselves as members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Amirah Ali Lidasan national president of Suara Bangsamoro in a statement said “there is no way that this act of killing innocent people be labelled as Islamic militancy nor done by people who believe in Islam.”
“Islam, which literally means peace in Arabic language, should no way be used to explain nor describe this dastardly act of taking lives of innocent civilians,” she said.
The group said the Moro people and the Muslims in the Philippines “relate more to the experience of the people of Paris rather than the people who called themselves Islamic militants.”
Lidasan said the Moro people have long suffered human rights violations in the hands of the Philippine government, bordering from extra-judicial killing, strafing of innocent civilians, massacre and even genocide.
“The resistance movement of the Moro people in Southern Philippines can no way be compared to what the ISIS portray their struggle. The struggle of the Moro people for land and right to self-determination was accepted worldwide, and its form of armed struggle for secessionism was accepted as the last form of defense due to the overwhelming military attack of the Philippine government and its armed forces to the Moro people during years of repression during Martial Law and succeeding years,” she said.
Suara Bangsamoro spokesperson Jerome Succor Aba also raised fears that “the Philippine government would again point its gun at the Moro people in the South” in light of the Paris attack.
“We also fear the response that the Philippine government would invoke after a shadow group identifying themselves as local cell of ISIS released a video to broadcast their share of “terror” attacks similar to the killing spree in Paris at the duration of the APEC Summit in Manila,” he said.
Aba said the Philippine National Police have already raised alert in the provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) prompting authorities to beef up security and surveillance in Moro areas.
“In previous incidents, Moro civilians bear the brunt of these security measures – innocent Moro men were rounded up and arrested as fall guys, some even underwent extreme torture to make them admit that they are members of terrorist groups or have links with them,” he said.
The group said same caution should be addressed to the government of France in its handling of “justice” for the victims.
“The day after the killing, France already bombarded what they believed are “lairs” of ISIS in Syria. The French government’s response bears the same result as the “terroristic” act of the ISIS – that of killing en masse and innocent civilians,” said Aba.
He said the use of aerial bombardment and strafing as a means of military offensives in communities does not discriminate the armed combatant from the civilians, “the militants from the innocent women and children”.
“The way to claiming justice for the victims of the carnage in Paris should not be at the expense of innocent Muslim civilians, just so the French government and the whole world could claim they acted swiftly for the victims,” he said.
Lidasan added that “France and other governments should also look to themselves for bringing out these forms of reactions due to their foreign policy of regime change and military intervention against Syria and other countries in the Middle East, and their local policies against refugees that resulted from their warmongering.”(davaotoday.com)