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

Improved Situation

Govt and Communist rebels struck deal to restart peace talks after six-year hiatus; insecurity continued in south amid local feuds and targeted killings.

Govt and communist militants agreed to reignite formal dialogue. Manila and National Democratic Front – umbrella organisation representing communist rebels, including main armed group New People’s Army (NPA) and Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) – 23 Nov struck deal following engagement in Norwegian capital Oslo, agreeing in principle to restart peace talks to achieve “peaceful resolution of the armed conflict”; formal talks between pair broke down in Nov 2017 under then President Duterte. Meanwhile, fighting persisted between govt security forces and NPA in Luzon Island (Mindoro) in north and Visayas Islands (Negros and Samar) in centre, killing at least ten combatants and civilians during Nov.

Insecurity persisted in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). In Maguindanao del Sur province, armed men associated with Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) 118 Base Command and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) 7 Nov clashed in Tukanalipao village over existing feud; fighting lasted for days and injured six combatants as well as one civilian. In Basilan province, shooting attack 9 Nov killed member of Basilan Provincial Board near Sumisip District Hospital. In Sultan Kudarat province, gunmen 15 Nov killed school principal in ambush in Lambayong town. In Lanao del Sur and Sulu provinces, authorities 16 Nov arrested six suspected drug dealers and seized significant quantities of “shabu” (methamphetamines) during separate anti-drug operations. Bomb 25 Nov exploded in centre of Pikit town, wounding six Moro civilians.

Implementation of Bangsamoro peace deal progressed. President Marcos Jr. 14 Nov attended BARMM’s first local legislative general assembly, which he described as “historic” and “crucial to achieving our goal of achieving peace and progress” in region.

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6 मे 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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