War Makes States

The Conflict Alert 2019 highlights the decline of violent conflict incidents in Muslim Mindanao after the Marawi war and amidst continuing extremist violence events, the impact of the State's continued implementation of martial law in the region, and its implications especially on the strengthening of the Bangsamoro sub-state. WATCH the video highlights of the Conflict Alert report below.

CEMS Bulletin – June 2019

No honeymoon period for Bangsamoro’s newly elected leaders Transitions are never easy, particularly if they affect the well-being of thousands of people. In the Bangsamoro, the month of June saw officials who won new terms after the previous month’s election prepare to assume their posts and officials who lost prepare to vacate their offices, reluctantly or not. Meanwhile, those who won second or third terms set new priorities and consolidated loyalties among other local officials. Amid the comings and goings, the challenges plaguing the Bangsamoro became even more manifest, as if telling the election winners there will be no honeymoon. Around 170 reports provided in June by Early Response Network (ERN) members based in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao indicated a fragile peace and order situation, with more shootings and assassinations by riding-in-tandem teams.[1]  Illegal drug buy-busts and confiscations were conducted as the state continued to pursue an anti-drug campaign. Cases of kidnapping or missing children panicked families, especially as they could mask recruitment by groups linked to ISIS. All the while, extremist groups have regrouped…

CEMS Bulletin – May 2019

  Political rivalries unleash cycle of retribution  The rains in May provided relief from the heat but, in pockets of the Bangsamoro, the situation remained tense after the 13 May polls as political rivalries ignited longstanding conflicts or sparked new feuds. The belief the vote was rigged in certain localities also portended disputes that would take long to settle. Meanwhile, as Muslim Filipinos observed the holy month of Ramadhan and Marawi commemorated the second anniversary of the war that broke out in the Islamic city on 23 May 2017, the threat of violent extremism loomed. There were sightings of armed men in towns bordering Butig, Lanao del Sur where the Maute Group, which led the siege on Marawi, traced its beginnings. This picture for May was pieced together using 120 reports from Early Response Network (ERN) members based in Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.[1] Around 70% of the reports covered incidents that occurred after the 13 May elections and up to the end of that month. The rest of the reports were about incidents that took…

CEMS Bulletin – Plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law

The January 21 plebiscite to ratify the Bangsamoro Organic Law will certainly rank as one of the most peaceful political exercises in recent Bangsamoro history. There were many reports of violence but none approximating the magnitude or body count in previous political competitions. Many observers claim that a plebiscite normally induces lower levels of violence in contrast to local elections because rivalries are less intense. There were many accounts of the festive atmosphere that accompanied the voting at the precinct level. From January 19 to 21, International Alert Philippines’s SMS-based Critical Events Monitoring System (CEMS), gathered reports of 56 incidents of tensions and violence in Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, Cotabato City, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Forty-five of these happened on January 21, the day of the plebiscite. These reports include the grenade explosions near the residence of Maguindanao Municipal Trial Court Judge Angelito Rasalan on the eve of the Bangsamoro plebiscite, a gun attack at the house of Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Atty. Omar Sema in Cotabato City, and the detonation of a grenade found 20 meters…

War and Identity

The year 2017 was a turning point in the magnitude of violent conflict in the ARMM, amplified by the astonishing increase in conflict deaths due to the war in Marawi City and other places in Mindanao.  

Infographics: Guns, Drugs, and Extremism: Bangsamoro’s New Wars

We have broken down our 2017 report "Guns, Drugs, and Extremism: Bangsamoro's New Wars" into this infographic pack to make it easier for you to share information to your networks, invigorate discussions and deepen understanding about conflict in the Bangsamoro, and encourage effective context-based actions to forge peace in the region. Click on the link icon on the infographic to view on a different window and to download. Join the conversation: #UnderstandConflictBuildPeace

Conflict Alert 2017 Report Highlights

Violent conflict surged to unprecedented levels in Muslim Mindanao in 2016 as the Duterte government launched a war on illegal drugs and guns and newly emerging violence from extremist groups escalated.