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

Security operations continued in south, as authorities continued to fight communist rebels. 

Insecurity persisted in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Authorities 5 June arrested senior commander of Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Datu Piang town for his alleged involvement in burning police car and shooting inside church in Maguindanao del Sur in 2020; suspect is accused of violating Anti-Terrorism Act and faces multiple charges including attempted murder, arson, and frustrated murder. Explosion 18 June occurred at fuel station hours after local govt declared Lamitan in Basilan province free from presence of Abu Sayyaf Group, leaving one person injured; police next day dismissed speculation of group’s involvement citing extortion as motive for attack; Basilan authorities 19 June condemned attack, saying it undermined efforts of provincial and local governments to maintain peace and order in province. Members of 118 Base Command of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) 19 June clashed with MILF’s 105th base command in Datu Unsay municipality of Maguindanao del Sur, killing one civilian.

Clashes between security forces and communist rebels continued, notably in Mindanao and the Visayas. Amid ongoing counter-insurgency operations, military continued to exert pressure on various New People’s Army (NPA) fronts, targeting leaders of guerrilla units and their legal fronts, as many fighters surrendered over last weeksMilitary 10 June announced death of one communist rebel after 9 June clash with New People’s Army (NPA) in Sultan Kudarat province, Mindanao. NPA rebels 23 June briefly clashed with security forces in north Samar, in Eastern Visayas region, killing one rebel. Hostilities, that saw rise in Luzon island, killed total of 17 and injured four during month. 

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6 می 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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