MANILA - A multi-sectoral approach, and not just military action, is needed to prevent the spread of violent extremism in the country, according to an organization of peace advocates.
Amina Rasul of the Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy said the role of Muslim religious leaders is crucial in preventing potential recruits from joining violent extremism.
"Dapat bigyan sila ng poder upang maturuan nila ang community members na ang tinuturo ng aming relihyon ay kapayapaan," she told DZMM Sunday.
"Sa military action, marami talagang nasasaktan. Nagiging rason pa 'yan upang magalit ang community... Hindi puwedeng hayaan lang natin ang gobyerno at military action," she added.
Rasul said they have received reports that extremists are starting to recruit members after the siege of Marawi ended, although there is no concrete evidence yet to prove these claims.
What they fear, she said, is that these terrorists would take advantage of the frustration and anger of the displaced residents of the Marawi in their alleged recruitment campaign.
"Ang pinag-usapan namin nung Sabado at Linggo, ano ang puwede nating gawin para ma-contain itong sama ng loob ng ating mga nasaktan na mamamayan," she said.
Rasul and other civil society group members, including those from the women and youth sectors, among others, earlier convened to discuss the prevention of violent extremism.
They are hoping that the government will come up with a concrete plan of action against terrorism that involves all the other sectors as well.