Youth group says gov’t must address historical injustices instead of ‘fanning the flames of war’

YOUTH activists today called out to President Rodrigo Duterte to address the root causes of the terror attack that claimed fourteen innocent lives and injured another sixty in Davao City last Friday night.

The Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) says that, “both the government and the public must acknowledge that the group responsible for the terror bombing of the Agdao district night market aims for a separate Islamic state as a result of the centuries of neglect and abuse by the Manila-based government”.

The group was also quick to add that “the means employed by the unknown group to send its message is by no means justified. Violence only begets more violence and will only result with a civilian body count higher than that of the military personnel and guerrillas combined”

SPARK spokesperson Joanne Lim warned that the continued neglect and the use of military might against a resilient guerrilla group will inflame the situation which arose from their different approaches in resolving the issue of achieving a sovereign Bangsamoro state.

The bombing Lim explains is a manifestation of such contrasts, “and will continue to manifest in the form of chaos, violence, cruelty and killings”.

“This reflects a society split up and that peace becomes something to strive for, something illusory, rather than a reality,” the group said in their statement posted on their Facebook page.

SPARK called out on the Duterte government to do what the past presidents have failed to accomplish. “To beat the drums of war is to invite vultures to hover upon us”.

President Rodrigo Duterte has claimed in the past that he is of Moro heritage and believes he has a full grasp of the Moro struggle in Mindanao

“Tatay Digong must demonstrate political will and take the moral high ground by offering just and lasting solutions by recognizing the right to self-determination of the Bangsamoro in order to systematically mend the historical injustices inflicted by the elitist Manila-based Philippine State.

To continually deny the Bangsamoro their sovereign will to self-govern by their culture, traditions, heritage and what they know is best for their children and succeeding generations will only mean more bloodshed for both Christian and Moro civilians. Only peace and social justice can guarantee just and lasting peace in Mindanao and the rest of the country,” Lim asserted.

They also appealed to the public for sobriety in order to not embolden the “closet-warmongers” in the Duterte government.