Trust, Communication Enabled Philippines Peace Deal
Catherine Cheney, World Politics Review 11 October 2012
Over the weekend, the Philippine government announced that it had reached a framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the separatist insurgency the rebel group has waged for decades in the southern Philippines. As reported by the New York Times, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said the framework agreement “paves the way” for peace and represents a major step toward ending the conflict in Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim island in the only predominantly Christian country in Asia. In an email interview with Trend Lines, Steven Rood, the Asia Foundation’s country representative in the Philippines and an adviser in an international group that facilitated the peace talks, emphasized the importance of the government’s recognition of a new governing political entity in Mindanao, the Bangsamoro, that will provide the Muslim inhabitants with more local autonomy in exchange for ending their demands for an independent state. (read more)
Moro Islamic Liberation Front rebels in southern PhilippinesWith 150,000 dead from decades of religious and ethnic fighting and no family in the southern Philippines free of fear they could be the next slain, Filipinos and their fractious leaders have run out of energy for rebellion. A road map to peace unveiled this week by the Philippine government and the main rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has been hailed by Muslims and Catholics alike as a glimmer of hope that an end is in sight to bloody clashes that have racked the islands since the 1960s. The deal also eases Western concern that foreign Islamic militants could be drawn to remote Philippine jungle camps, already the scene of kidnappings and beheadings. (read more)
Philippines on high alert after US embassy threat
Times Live 29 September, 2012
Philippine security forces were on stepped-up alert Saturday after the US embassy issued an emergency advisory about an alleged threat against Americans in the capital. "As a matter of precaution, we have augmented security," deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said. "Police visibility has been heightened." The US embassy said in its advisory that the "threat against American citizens in metropolitan Manila ... has been detected by reliable security forces" but it did not give details on the nature of a possible attack. "This threat remains in effect until October 10," the embassy said in the advisory posted on its website on Friday. Britain, Australia and Canada also issued warnings to their citizens, citing the US advisory. (read more)
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PHILIPPINES: Steep rise in gender-based violence
30 May 201
MANILA, 30 May 2012 (IRIN) - Authorities in the Philippines are reporting a sharp uptick in the number of gender-based violence cases over the last five years.
“From 2006 to the present, there has been a constant increase,” Senior Superintendent Theresa Ann Cid, of the Philippine National Police (PNP), told IRIN (read more).