CSO leaders with Mr. Guiamel M. Alim (right). (BMN archive file photo)

The Interfaith Action Network for Peace (IANP) – the People’s Movement for Social Cohesion, an aggrupation of peace-loving Moro, settlers and IPs and other tribal people in the BARMM, is disheartened to say the least, by the latest bombing in the MSU compound that killed scores of Christian students, even as we join the global communities in appealing for the end of war against children in Palestine and the wars and violence in other countries that kill innocent people.

One innocent person or one child killed, in a war that has no victors but only losers, is too many. Indeed, all wars are wars against civilians. Disrespect to human rights is a disrespect to the most valuable creation of God- the human person-. The wars in Ukraine, South Africa and the Hamas-Israelis war are not the same but their victims are the same- the innocent human beings- be they maybe adults, women, youth, elder citizens or children. In the latest bombing in Marawi, the victims are mostly students and youth attending a religious Sunday mass.

In the immediate term, we can condemn the perpetrators, as we used to do in similar circumstances in the past. We can extend our condolences and support to the bereaved families but strategically, we must take actions so that similar incidents do not happen anymore. This is a big challenge to our security sector. But using the whole of the nation approach, the security sector with the LGUs, civil societies and the private sector must employ the multi-sectoral partnership strategy. But most importantly, for a durable solution, we must uproot the causes of violence.

We, the IANP encourage all and sundry to work together against any form of violence because we believe that any violence is extreme, against humanity. The series of killings, deaths due to horizontal violence has been alarming and there is no solution yet in sight. We call upon our fellow-peace advocates and all peace-loving citizens to continue building peace notwithstanding the signed peace agreement. We cannot afford to see more of these killings and deaths. For now, the least that we can do is to extend our most sincere condolences to the bereaved families and friends of the victims in the Marawi blast and call for justice to all the victims. We pray for the early recovery of those wounded. And finally, we appeal for sobriety amidst this incident.

Interfaith Action Network for Peace – People Movement for Social Cohesion

Guiamel M. Alim
Lead-Convener, IANP-PMSC

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