MANILA- Fighting radicalism is also the responsibility of families and not just the government, the mayor of conflict-stricken Marawi City said Wednesday.
While the 5-month war between government forces and Islamic State-inspired extremists is over, Mayor Majul Usman Gandamra said radicalism may still persist, calling on families to look after their loved ones to stop the spread of extremist ideology.
"Hindi lang ang gobyerno ang makialam dito, dapat 'yung pamilya mo bantayan mo eh... There should be some guidance from the parents, the elders. Hindi lang sa gobyerno ang dapat magpapatupad ng mga ganito," he said in an interview on DZMM radio.
Gandamra added that parents should look after their children's social media activities, lessons they learn in school, and the kind of friends they hang out with since young people may easily be lured to believe extremist ideologies.
He also debunked the belief that money is the sole reason why young people join extremist groups, saying some recruits actually come from well-off families.
"In fact, the recruitment was done even in colleges and universities… These are well-off individuals," he said.
"I think hindi lang 'yung factor 'yung pera but as well 'yung mga wrong ideology na itinuturo," he added.
Gandamra said he has tapped traditional and religious leaders of Marawi City to propagate the right teachings of Islam among young people, particularly those still staying in evacuation centers.
Hundreds of thousands were forced to flee Marawi City and nearby towns during the 5-month long siege, staying in cramped evacuation centers or with relatives in other provinces.
With the conflict now over, the government has begun initiatives to rehabilitate the city so that locals could return safely to their homes.