Groups to Duterte: you denied the Moro people’s self-determination in tackling Maute problem

Jun. 30, 2017

WOMEN’S VOICE. Women traditional leaders from Marawi call on the government to stop the airstrikes to prevent further damage on civilian lives and properties in the city as the fighting with extremist groups and the government continues to its 24th day, Thursday, June 15. (Zea Io Ming C. Capistrano/

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines — President ​Rodrigo ​Duterte has committed an injustice against the Moro people with the continuing onslaught of the military in Marawi City,​ a progressive Moro ​organization said​.

Jerome Succor Aba, spokesperson of S​uara Bangsamoro ​said this was shown when the President decided for himself on how to deal with the Maute Group ​in Marawi without consulting the Moro.

​Aba told 200 participants ​of the Mindanao Peace Forum ​here ​that “the Moro People has been denied s​elf-determination when the P​resident dealt harshly with the Maute/ISIS problem in Marawi City, and in effect violated the Moro civilians’ rights with the massive destruction of properties in the only Islamic city in the Philippines.”​

​Aba’s comment was also joined by the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) composed of members from different religious congregations all over Mindanao.

In a statement urging the government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines to resume the peace talks, PEPP said “President Duterte should heed the call of the internal displaced persons (IDPs) of Marawi and elsewhere, to lift Martial law and end aerial strikes, which has resulted to severe damage to life, livelihood and property.”

​O​ther​ religious organizations, including the Sisters Association in Mindanao (SAMIN) and the Sowing of Seeds for Peace also expressed their criticism against the handling of the Maute Group attack in Marawi City. ​

Bishop Felixberto Calang of the Philippine Independent Church and the main convener of the Sowing said: “We affirm our earlier pronouncement that the declaration of Martial Law adversely impacts on the peace process. We reiterate our belief that Martial Law contravenes our common goal of attaining long-term peace.”

He said “It will also promote further impunity in the adherence to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (CARHRIHL). The country has already been faced with pervasive human rights violations in the pre-Martial Law order.”

“Martial Law and militarism must not be allowed to extinguish the dying embers of dialogue at this low point in the peace process,” Calang said. (

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