Philippines

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.

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CrisisWatch Philippines

Unchanged Situation

Clan violence, rebel infighting and security operations continued in south, while security forces battled Communist insurgents.

Insecurity persisted in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). During reconciliation ceremony between members of Sinsuat clan in Cotabato city, shootout 3 Jan erupted between escorts of two prominent clan politicians. Bangsamoro regional police 15 Jan deployed personnel of elite Special Action Force in three towns in Lanao del Sur province and its provincial capital Marawi city to help local officials guard against clan wars and protect constituents from local terrorists. In Maguindanao del Sur province, armed men associated with Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) 105 and 106 Base Command 19 Jan clashed in Kulambog village, motivated by political rivalry. Security forces 26 Jan launched operations against jihadist group Daulah Islamiya in Lanao del Sur, killing nine militants – including two alleged suspects linked to deadly bombing in Marawi in Dec – and leaving four soldiers wounded. 

Clashes persisted between Communist rebels and military. Clashes between govt forces and Communists in Luzon Island (Sorsogon) in north, Mindanao Island (Agusan del Norte) in south and Visayas Islands (Negros and Samar) in centre killed at least nine combatants and civilians.

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In The News

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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