"And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]" - Quran 2:45
I PERSONALLY find it hard to visualize that the government will negotiate with terrorists, even the thought of it from some people who are fanning the idea to the tables of those who are in power especially to the president. And even if it comes from the president, it remains bothersome than optimistic.
The Maute Terror Group, Abu Sayyaf, and other groups that pledged allegiance to foreign extremist idealisms, are unlike the existing factions which are founded on political and cultural struggles.
That is why, the government through the Office of the Presidential Assistant on Peace Process (Opapp) are brokering peace pacts to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines which have links to Communist Party of the Philippines and its aid unit, the New People's Army (NDFP-CPP-NPA).
But with these terror groups, they have come to a point where it is futile to talk to them because doing so is not only a waste of time, but along with their extremist views on twisted interpretation of religious beliefs, where their minds have become corrupted that they will no longer listen to whatever terms from the government.
Besides, they have committed atrocities that were beyond redemption against whatever existing laws. While other groups that are currently in negotiations with the government also had made several conflicts in the past that caused destruction of properties, loss of lives, and displaced people, dealing with terrorists is a dead-end. Terrorists are beyond salvation.
This can be a time that the Armed Forces of the Philippines and this current administration to obliterate these terrorists completely and prevent it from existing or sprouting similar groups of extremists.
However, it is also crucial to observe humanitarian considerations, this is very important as the cultural dynamics among local terrorists and most of the affected civilians are quite complicated, and quite sensitive.
In various news reports, the incident in Marawi City drew the attention of other extremists coming from neighboring countries. It comes as no surprise, after all, that there have been reports that the Maute group's operations were funded and backed-up by foreign entities mostly coming from Indonesia and Malaysia.
This is where the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) can convene and talk over on the inter-regional security measures. And more specifically, strengthening the Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines - East Asean Growth Area (Bimp-Eaga), in coming up new initiatives.
If there have been military exchange agreements between the United States and the Philippines, why can't have the same model with Asean nations as partners instead? These are but some possibilities.
But again, there should be no negotiations with these terror groups. They were not interested in peace, to begin with, and they falsely claim to represent Islam as an excuse for their twisted and evil schemes.