Sustainable development requires peace

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Always on call President Rodrigo Duterte says the men and women in uniform are the go-to guys of the Republic as shown in this photo during the siege of Marawi City by terrorists. AFP

Lawless violence and threats of terrorism are almost always prevalent in nearly every country in the world.

The importance for governments in the world to address these issues takes priority if they want to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development.

Terrorism, as one writer put it, is not an expression of rage, but rather a political weapon. It is based on the premise that if you remove a government’s facade of infallibility, you remove the people’s faith in government.

And the Duterte administration knows the dangers terrorism poses in the country, especially in the Mindanao region.

To recall, the city of Marawi was invaded by IS-linked terrorists and laid siege on the city for five months. President Rodrigo Duterte first placed Mindanao under martial law in May 2017 — a move that the administration saw as a solution to the growing restlessness and acts of terrorism in the region.

The five-month battle left more than 1,000 people dead, mostly Islamist militant fighters and displaced thousands of residents.

The “lurking threat” of terrorism prompted Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff General Carlito Galvez to recommend to the President a one-year extension of martial law in Mindanao.

Duterte acknowledges that critics of the government and opposition groups may insinuate it is another step towards declaring martial law nationwide. However, it is expected that he would likely adopt the recommendation of the police and military and ask the Congress for the third extension of martial law.

The move falls squarely with Goal 16 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) which seeks to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies free from oppression and the horrors of terrorism.

This goal is part of the objectives outlined by the SDG pact, which the Daily Tribune is a media partner.

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