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Philippines

CrisisWatch Philippines

Unchanged Situation

Security forces continued to clash with Abu Sayyaf militants and communist rebels. Suspected Abu Sayyaf militants 12 Aug killed two soldiers and one child during ambush in Mindanao province. Abu Sayyaf militants 19 Aug wounded two police officers during ambush in Sulu. In continued anti-militant operations, police 15 Aug arrested suspected Abu Sayyaf member in Pasay City. President Duterte 8 Aug said he had ordered recruitment and training of up to 10,000 elite special forces to combat threat of terrorism, which he claimed “is getting bigger”. Suspected communist New People’s Army (NPA) members 15 Aug killed two pro-govt militiamen in Abra province. Military 18 Aug arrested three NPA rebels and seized manufacturing site of explosive devices in Negros Occidental. Duterte 27 Aug in speech urged military to end communist insurgency, “serving notice” there will be “a little trouble” in coming months. Philippines 9 and 19 Aug filed diplomatic protests with China over maritime disputes (see South China Sea).

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Reports & Briefings

In The News

19 Aug 2016
If [President] Duterte can move this [the peace deal] forward during this honeymoon period rapidly, it has a much better chance of going through. I think it's an opportunity that's a tragedy to lose. ABS-CBN News
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Latest Updates

Commentary / Asia

Philippines: Addressing Islamist Militancy after the Battle for Marawi

The Philippine city of Marawi, on Mindanao island, remains in ruins more than a year after a five-month jihadist takeover. To avoid fuelling militancy, Manila must involve locals in reconstruction, implement a 2014 deal with Mindanao separatists and go beyond efforts to counter jihadist ideology.

Op-Ed / Asia

Philippines Peace Process: Duterte Playing for High Stakes

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has put his weight unequivocally behind efforts to bring a negotiated end to more than four decades of conflict in the south of the country, but uncertainty is bleeding momentum from the process and the clock is ticking.

Originally published in The Interpreter

Op-Ed / Asia

The Philippines' Misguided Plan to Stop South China Sea Tensions

Cooperating on oil won't work - but fishing might.

Originally published in The National Interest

Op-Ed / Asia

Why Duterte Needs to Move Fast to End Decades-long Insurgency

The southern Philippines is potentially closer to peace than at any time in the four decades since Muslim insurgents started fighting for independence, but the substantial progress over the past six years is also fragile. The new President, Rodrigo Duterte, needs to build quickly on the foundations laid by the last administration or the process risks collapse.

Originally published in The Interpreter

Report / Asia

The Philippines: Renewing Prospects for Peace in Mindanao

Hopes are high that one of the world’s longest-running civil conflicts can be resolved in the Philippines. The newly-elected president must act on his commitment to the outgoing administration’s promise of autonomy for the southern Bangsamoro (Muslim Nation) population. Failure to do so risks more lawlessness or reigniting the insurgency.