STATEMENT| No To Terrorism, Yes to Just Peace

Jun. 06, 2017

No To Terrorism, Yes to Just Peace Alliance Unity Statement

No To Terrorism, Yes To Just Peace is a broad alliance of peace advocates based in the education sector. We are calling on our fellow citizens to take a firm stand against terrorism by struggling for just peace.

Saying “No!” to terrorism entails a historical grasp of the roots and conduct of terror. In the world today, terrorism is incorrectly and unjustly linked with “Islamic Fundamentalism.” This dominant line of thought promoted by the U.S. ” War on Terror” wrongly proclaims that the “clash of civilizations” or the struggle between fundamentalism and democracy in different parts of the world is a contradiction which connects terrorism with Islam.

The U.S. has claimed the exclusive right to identify which nation or group is terrorist since it became a global superpower after World War II. The U.S.’ global superpower status has been an impediment to the peaceful social and economic development of sovereign nations, partiucarly its semi-colonies and target markers. Its deployment of US military bases and troops worldwide is only one example of its imperialist control of sovereign nations. Its economic, political,and cultural control over its semi-colonies is seen in the prevalence of foreign trade agreements skewed to U.S. interests, bureaucrat capitalism,and colonial education.

Yet despite this imperialist control over nations and the world, Islam continues to be the bogey used by the U.S. to hide the roots of “terrorism.” U.S. Imperialism created terrorism, not Islam. The false representation of Islam as a religion of violent extremism can only breed hate and violence.

Saying “Yes!” to just peace means being active citizens in resisting all forms of deceptive shortcuts toward the attainment of peace based on social justice. We assert the importance of addressing the historical roots of armed conflict in the country. Our own history teaches us that at the heart of revolutionary resistance is our people’s desire for a nation free from the bondage of foreign domination, corruption, and monopoly of land and resources by few elite families.

The Bonifacio-led revolutionary resistance of the Katipuneros against Spanish colonialism had just peace based on national liberation as its main goal. The continuing struggle for national liberation through the national democratic revolution and the Moro struggle for secession cannot be repressed through Martial Law or an All-Out War. President Duterte’s bid for Peace with the revolutionary communist movement and the revolutionary Moro in the beginning of his term is a promising move on the part of the government to finally address the roots of the armed conflict with the nation’s revolutionary groups.

The harrowing situation of the people of Marawi and the rest of Mindanao under Martial Law stricken by aerial bombardments, lockdowns, and other forms of repression are devastating means to resolve the so-called “Mindanao problem.” By no means is Martial Law a solution to terrorism.

Our people’s history shows hardly anything about Martial Law being a tool for development and just peace. Martial Law has been proven to be impunity’s best friend.

The Duterte government must be mindful and sensitive to the historical minoritization of the Moro people and the Lumad in Mindanao. Thus, it can only correct historical injustices inflicted upon national minorities by immediately lifting Martial Law in Mindanao and pursuing just peace. Martial Law in Mindanao impacts on the lives people on a national scale. As we speak, promises of free education and economic reforms are now being wasted to war.

The pursuit of just peace means reaching an agreement with the revolutionary forces in Philippine society who are ever willing to cooperate with government to implement comprehensive socio-economic reforms through the Peace Talks. The No To Terrorism,Yes to Just Peace Alliance will continue to work with various sectors and groups to invigorate and strengthen the emergent power from the social base in guaranteeing change for a peaceful and properous Philippines.

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