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Philippines

After decades of insurgency, the government of the Philippines is making efforts to deliver peace to Mindanao in the south of the country. Although the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority in 2019 can be seen as an initial success on the road to peace, this entity is faced with a difficult task in managing the transition until the 2022 elections. Violence continues between the government and several armed groups, including ISIS-affiliated elements and the communist New People's Army. Through field research and advocacy, Crisis Group works to support the peace processes, promote strategies designed to limit the space for jihadist recruitment and mobilisation, and strengthen social cohesion in Mindanao.

CrisisWatch Philippines

Unchanged Situation

Low-level violence persisted in south, while clashes between govt forces and communists killed at least two dozen. In Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in south, violence between govt and armed groups persisted, while smaller elements of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf Group surrendered to govt. IED allegedly planted by BIFF militants 6 Aug killed one soldier and injured seven soldiers in Datu Hoffer municipality, Maguindanao. Ten BIFF militants 13 Aug surrendered to military in Shariff Aguak town, Maguindanao. Campaign against Abu Sayyaf Group continued; notably, nine militants 11 Aug surrendered to military in Indanan town and further four 14 Aug surrendered in Talipao town. Meanwhile, fighting between govt security forces and communist New People’s Army continued at relatively higher levels than July in Visayas islands in centre, Mindanao island in south and Luzon island in north, killing at least 24 and injuring eight during month. Notably, military 16 Aug confirmed deaths of 16 communist fighters during raid on suspected hideout in Dolores municipality, Eastern Samar province. Leaders of ruling party PDP-Laban 6 Aug endorsed President Duterte as VP candidate in 2022 elections, ahead of conclusion of presidential term in 2022; Duterte 24 Aug confirmed he would run for vice presidency. False information on lockdown restriction 6 Aug circulated online, prompting scuffles amid vaccination rush in capital Manila and cities of Las Pinas and Antipolo. COVID-19 daily cases 20 Aug reached over 17,000, highest peak since pandemic began.
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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

Op-Ed / Asia

Bangsamoro’s Potential for Regional Gains

The recently established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) offers new hope for a peaceful future for its majority-Muslim population after decades of war. The success of BARMM, and more broadly, the peace process, could send positive ripple effects across the wider region.

Originally published in Philippine Strategic Forum

Op-Ed / Asia

Marawi Rehabilitation Delays Could Cast a Dark Shadow over Duterte’s Peace Legacy

The glacial pace of the city’s reconstruction could fuel disillusionment among the region’s population.

Originally published in The Diplomat

Video / Asia

Clan Politics and the Future of the Bangsamoro Peace Deal

Elections in 2022 will bring an autonomous regional government to the Bangsamoro, a part of the southern Philippines long riven by rebellion. To prepare for the 2014 peace deal’s last test, the area’s interim self-rule entity needs to accommodate the big clans that dominate its politics.

Report / Asia

Southern Philippines: Tackling Clan Politics in the Bangsamoro

Elections in 2022 will bring an autonomous regional government to the Bangsamoro, a part of the southern Philippines long riven by rebellion. To prepare for the 2014 peace deal’s last test, the area’s interim self-rule entity needs to accommodate the big families that dominate its politics. 

Commentary / Asia

A Young Leader in the Philippines’ Battle-scarred ‘Islamic City’

It is a challenge to represent South Madaya Proper, a district in Marawi, the Philippines’ historic “Islamic city”, depopulated two years ago in a battle between government forces and jihadists. To do so, a young council chair says, she acts as both official and activist.

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