MANILA, Philippines — With the end of the Marawi crisis last month, the government has vowed to “nip violent extremism in the bud” by promoting peace education and nurturing moderation among the youth.
In a statement issued Sunday, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Officer-in-Charge Catalino Cuy, said “violent extremists tend to leverage on the vulnerabilities of the youth to recruit them to their cause, therefore there should be greater effort to inculcate in them the importance of moderation and the peaceful resolution of conflicts.”
“Violent extremism is here and now. We saw that in the Marawi crisis. We are seeing it all over the world. Let us therefore put forward more initiatives to promote social and ethical values among our youth and insulate them from violent extremism,” says Cuy, the chairperson of the ASEAN 2017 Ministers Meeting on Transnational Crime (AMMTC).
Cuy saaid he was pleased that the Philippines wasn’t alone in this effort.
Recently, the heads of state of the ten-member ASEAN approved the Manila Declaration to Counter the Rise of Radicalisation and Violent Extremism during its 31st Summit held in Pasay City.
Under the Manila Declaration, ASEAN affirms to counter radicalization and violent extremism, in particular those which lead to terrorism in all forms and manifestations, through means such as the prevention of radicalization, financing, recruitment, and mobilization of individuals into terrorist groups.
Strong emphasis on the aspect of de-radicalization in rehabilitation and reintegration programs as part of comprehensive measures in countering terrorism, and continued information sharing and exchanges on best practices among ASEAN Member States on countering and preventing radicalization and the tools of extremism are also integrated in the Manila Declaration.
The 31st ASEAN Summit also consents through the Manila Declaration a continued mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and extradition related to the rise of radicalization and violent extremism that leads to terrorism; development of an integrated, evidence-based approach to addressing the threats of the rise of radicalization and violent extremism: and strengthening of the existing mechanism for addressing terrorism, radicalism and violent extremism, among others.
Cuy said the acknowledgment from the ASEAN leaders for the implementation of the Manila Declaration “is a milestone” for the Philippine government as chair of the 2017 ASEAN Summit.
“Transnational crimes are among the most urgent and emerging concerns not just in Asia but globally as well and we are proud that the Manila Declaration was given a ‘go signal’ for implementation during our country’s ASEAN chairmanship,” said Cuy.
Aside from the Manila Declaration, two other instruments were cleared for implementation during the ASEAN summit namely, the ASEAN Declaration to Prevent and Combat Cybercrime and the Bohol Trafficking in Persons Work Plan.