After decades of insurgency, the Philippine government is making efforts to bring stability to the Bangsamoro, a majority-Muslim area in the country's south. In 2019, Manila granted the region self-rule, an important step on the road to peace, but the new autonomous entity faces challenges in managing the transition until parliamentary elections in 2025. Clashes still break out sporadically. Meanwhile, Manila's disputes with Beijing in the South China Sea continue, amid rising U.S.-Chinese strategic competition. Through field research and advocacy, Crisis Group works to support the Bangsamoro peace process and reduce maritime tensions in the Asia Pacific.

CrisisWatch Philippines

Unchanged Situation

Insecurity continued in south amid clan violence and militant surrenders, while deadly fighting persisted between military and Communist rebels.

Insecurity persisted in Bangsomoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Gunfight 2 May erupted between two clans from different villages in Malabang town, Lanao del Sur province, injuring three civilians and one police officer. In Maguindanao del Sur, unidentified gunmen 15 May ambushed National Irrigation Administration employee and his daughter in Shariff Aguak town; gunman 29 May shot former village councillor of Damasulay in Paglat town. Meanwhile, militant surrenders continued. Six Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) members 3 May surrendered in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao del Norte province. Police 13 May formally received 50 BIFF members – including those who surrendered previously – in Parang town, Maguindanao del Norte. Two Abu Sayyaf group members 19 May surrendered to 18th Infantry Battalion in Al-Barka town, Basilan province.

Deadly clashes continued between military and communist rebels. Military operations and some militant ambushes by communist New People’s Army (NPA) in Mindanao Island in south, Visayas Islands in centre and Luzon Island in north killed at least 20 combatants and civilians. VP Sara Duterte 10 May assumed post as head of National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, interagency govt body tackling insurgency.

Marawi’s rehabilitation continued. Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development 18 May said Task Force Bangon Marawi was set to complete all remaining rehabilitation projects by end of 2023; 500 permanent shelters are slated to be turned over to some of 15,000 displaced families. Marawi Compensation Board 23 May signed implementing guidelines on procedure for compensating war victims for loss of properties during Marawi conflict.

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6 May 2022
Time has passed since the time of Martial Law, and if you look at the demographics, it is mostly older Filipinos who remember and are opposed to BBM. Foreign Policy

Georgi Engelbrecht

Senior Analyst, Philippines

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Georgi Engelbrecht

Senior Analyst, Philippines
Georgi Engelbrecht

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