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 and militant attacks persisted in south, while military battled Communist insurgents.

Insecurity persisted in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In Maguindanao del Sur province, soldiers from army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team 9 March clashed with Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) during operation to apprehend BIFF commander Kagi Karialan (who evaded capture) in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town, killing two suspected BIFF members. Militant ambush 17 March killed four soldiers in Datu Hoffer; military blamed jihadist group Daulah Islamiyah, but BIFF 19 March claimed attack in retaliation for 9 March security operation. Region 27 March marked anniversary of signing of Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, which could boost momentum for implementation of key parts of peace deal.

Clashes continued between Communist rebels and military. Hostilities between security forces and communist rebels in Luzon (Quezon, Batangas) in north, Mindanao (Bukidnon/Lanao del Sur) in south and Visayas (Panay island) in centre during March claimed five civilian and combatant fatalities, and two injuries. Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. 18 March declared Surigao del Norte province insurgency-free after its provincial govt and law enforcement agencies dismantled remaining forces of Communist militant group New People’s Army (NPA).

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6 جۆزەردان 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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