July 24, 2019
“Drug money killed 175 and wounded [2,101] of my soldiers and policemen in that 5-month battle,” Duterte said.
The President made this statement during his SONA.
This is totally unacceptable. Up until the SONA, the Marawi Siege has never been equated to drugs and rightly so.
Dawla Islamia, or ISIS as often called, is a band of Muslim militants that sprung from the Mindanao conflict.
Its radical ideology was borne out of the historical marginalization of the Bangsamoro.
Its motivation is to elevate the insurgency to a more urbanized warfare, thus more violent and destructive.
It is a killing machine not fearing death.
Categorizing the siege as drug related is trivializing the incident and, veering from the real roots which we must understand and address conclusively so that this group or like ones do not emerge or re-emerge in the future.
Much as the mainstream Bangsamoro reviles this group’s violent principle, none would certainly agree with this drug equation because it is far from the truth.
So frightening to imagine if, instead of Marawi, they chose to invade Iligan City as they originally planned.
This is the reason gov’t and society must work together in crafting clear cut solutions to this issue.
And we should not bark at the wrong tree.
Haroun Alrashid Alonto Lucman Jr. is son of the late Paramount Sultan Haroun Alrashid Lucman, legendary father of the Bangsamoro struggle and former representative of the then lone district of Lanao del Sur. He is also former regional vice governor of the defunct Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)