Experts monitoring the dynamics of ISIS-inspired militant organizations in the Philippines earlier announced the factors that are breeding terrorism as they also offered solutions how to end Southeast Asia's most feared security threat, the ISIS.
Sam Chittick, country representative of Philippine's Asia Foundation said that ISIS-inspired militant organizations have been actively recruiting college graduates in the Mindanao mainland. On the other hand, in the Mindanao islands militant organizations are recruiting poor, young and less educated militants to advance their cause.
The Mindanao island provinces are Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and in these islands, the recruits are often relatives of former fighters who were killed in the battle.
Chittick also said that the massive recruitment of ISIS-inspired militants is done through social media, radio channels, relatives and students' organizations.
The Asia Foundation said among the "push factors" that encouraged fighters to join ISIS-inspired organizations are frustration, biases, historical injustices, human rights violations, military operations and bad governance.
The UN defines "push factors" as the conditions in the community promoting violent extremism. These serve as motivations to attract potential recruits.
With these growing challenges, Chitick offers suggestions that government should work with and through families and mothers to address violent terrorism as he also offered to revisit the country's security approach.
Chiticks also suggested stakeholders engagement to improve the community and develop positive messaging through religious initiatives.
Another executive of the world's leading peace-building organizations also suggested that research has to be done on communities with high incidence of violent extremism.
Francisco Lara, Jr. Country manager of International Alert added that the research should also include communities adjacent to conflict-stricken ones.
The announcement of Chitick and Lara came when the Philippine military announced that the ISIS-militants are looking at Cotabato City, as the next city to be raided by violent extremist groups.
In September this year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte also mentioned Cotabato as a potential Mindanao City where ISIS-militant organizations would launch an attack after the Marawi siege on May 23 wherein 800 ISIS-inspired militants raided the City and fought Philippine security forces for five months.
Over the last decades, there have interventions both from the government and development organizations to end the Mindanao conflict but it seems those interventions have not really suppressed the armed elements in the Southern Philippines.
Despite the identification of root causes of the armed conflict and the proposed solutions of different bodies, recruitment of young militants are still rampant in remote communities where the arm of governance could no longer reach.