State violence, crime, terrorism among top security concerns in PH: study

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By Anna Gabriela A. Mogato

Criminal violence and terrorism, as well as violence from state authorities, are the top security concerns in the Philippines, a survey commissioned by International Alert and the British Council showed.

In the Peace Perceptions Poll 2018 conducted by global pollster RIWI, more than a quarter of Filipino respondents pointed to a lack of jobs and the need to provide for families as the most likely motivators for violent actions.

The study found that the second leading reason for violent actions was a “sense of justice.”

As violence from state authorities was the third leading security concern, respondents said that political leaders need to recognize military force as the least effective path towards long-term peace, and prioritize instead negotiating peace agreements.

Country manager of International Alert Philippines Nikki Philline de la Rosa noted that while the poll did not field respondents from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, she believes their findings reflect the violence caused by communist insurgency and Moro rebellion in the south.

Violent extremism in Mindanao is also fueled by various factors such as clan feuds, governance issues, and control over land, Ms. de la Rosa said.

“We have emphasized time and again how rebuilding structures and executing military action are never enough in addressing the strings of violence caused by interlinking factors,” she added.

“The Bangsamoro Organic Law is a win in the decades-old peace process between the government and the rebels, and we hope that this will heal fissures in relationships and foster genuine autonomy, peace and development in the region in the long run.”

Ms. de la Rosa noted that there is a pressing need to ensure education, employment, and civic participation in governance to curb further violent extremism.