Review of Related Literatures (RRL)
In order to fully understand the situation of peace and violent extremism in the Philippines, one must first explore the different groups and historical events that contribute to a culture of violence upon Filipino land and shores.
Below are the terms and explanations of Filipino phenomena that will be referenced all throughout the research and that are deemed important in comprehending peace and hindrances in achieving it in our country.
Our country has seen multiple attempts by non-state actors to grab attention from the people and government to tend to their needs and wants. In order to understand how violence and violent extremism exist in the country, these groups have been categorized according to their nature:
1) armed insurgent and secessionist groups
2) terrorist groups, and
3) traditional and political clans who practice violence or “rido.”
A Brief Introduction to the Different Perspectives on Radicalization and Violent Extremism:
“highlights the influence of peer groups in a person’s life particularly in influencing their personality or behavior in contrast to the influence of parental figures in an individual’s life (Libretext, 2020).”
States that there are three processes that occur within one’s interaction with their peer group:
evaluation (where they assess how they meet the needs of one another)
role transition or changes in the relationship of the individual and their peers.
AGNEW'S REVISED GENERAL STRAIN THEORY
Establishes that one’s coping mechanism can push or pull an individual into criminal behavior.
Additionally, this revision heavily emphasizes that social class might not determine criminal behavior as previous theories might believe. Different strains vary within each person, and class does not single out the lower class.
The concept of “Integrative Complexity (IC)” is used to measure the levels of radicalization in an individual and their possible shift towards violent extremism. “A lower IC connotes the tendency for binary and categorical thinking. In a lower IC, the individual or groups in question are unable to consider and integrate various perspectives. A higher IC, meanwhile, shows the capacity of individuals and groups to recognize and integrate various views on a topic (Nemir & Savage, 2019).”
Lower IC could mean the inability to recognize the principles and values of others as valid. With higher IC, there is a higher change of peaceful resolutions towards conflict.
Radicalism and Violent Extremism:
what's the difference?
Radicalism is seen as the pursuit of change in one’s community and society. It aims to search for new ideas and methods that can alleviate or answer a certain systemic and structural issue that a group or individual may face. This can be seen in movements such as Pride Protests, the Bangsamoro people’s fight for recognition from the government, and petitions made by Indigenous Peoples to reclaim their land among others.
Violent extremism, on the other hand, is understood as the practice of imposing one’s beliefs and ideologies onto others through violent and harmful means. In the history of our country, we have seen this manifesting as bombings, kidnappings, and killings. Even sharing the same thoughts or supporting these actions can be seen as violent extremist movements.
The key difference between the two lies in how individuals or groups practice their beliefs.
Take note: Violent extremism can stem from radicalism but radicalism does not necessarily turn into violent extremism!
We found that the youth see the manifestations of violent extremism as:
Suicide bombing Bombings of government buildings, Beheading of captives Kidnapping
malls, churches among others /prisoners of war
Raising funds for groups espousing Dissemination of publications that Harassment and intimidation
violence against people on promote intolerance; of marginalized/ vulnerable sectors
the basis of religion, race, among others distorted religious beliefs (farmers, fisherfolks, urban poor)
WHO DID WE REACH OUT TO?
Our survey was able to reach almost 200 people! While this was far from the numbers we aimed for, we have accepted that it was the best that we could do with the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our respondents were composed of Filipinos aged 15 to 30 years old who were at least at a senior high school level. We targeted those primarily residing in NCR, Davao City, Malawi City, and Zamboanga (although we were able to reach respondents from other regions). Additionally, the majority of respondents identified with Christian beliefs.
Our key informants, on the other hand, were heavily experienced in peace-building projects and had enough insight on our target areas. We used their knowledge to verify the results of the survey as we could not visit the target areas ourselves. All in all, we tapped 14 professionals with the majority being 31 to 45 years old and who graduated from college at the very least.
Sex of the respondents
Educational attainment of survey respondent
Geographical location of respondents
Religion of the respondents