Challenges to the peace process in the Philippines

On 27 March 2014, the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB): a peace agreement which provided a serious opportunity to end 40 years of conflict. However, since then, the peace process has faced numerous challenges, and a particular low point has been the recent ‘Mamasapano incident': a clash between the Special Action Force (SAF) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and members of the MILF Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) on 25 January 2015. With the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) now being deliberated in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, a number of legislators have already raised concerns over its passage and a few have withdrawn their support in light of the recent violent confrontation between the SAF and the BIAF. While the introduction of the BBL poses its own challenges, its dismissal would put an end to current hopes for peace in Mindanao.

On Friday 20 February, the European Peacebuilding Liaison Office (EPLO) will organise a Brown Bag Lunch  focusing on the overall peace process, the current developments related to the BBL, the enormous challenges posed by the Mamsapano incident, and what could be done to ensure the continuation of the peace process.

Augusto (Gus) Miclat Jr. is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Initiatives for International Dialogue, based in Davao City, the Philippines, and a Board Member and Regional Representative for Southeast Asia of the Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC). He is also a former journalist, editor, university lecturer, theatre artist and movement organiser. He was deeply involved in the broad anti-dictatorship front against Marcos from the late 1970s up to the late 1980s in Mindanao and organised the so-called ‘Middle Forces': professionals, lawyers, church people, teachers, journalists, artists, businessmen, and politicians. He has been involved in people's diplomacy or international solidarity work since 1985, including Mindanao Peaceweavers. He has been involved in people's diplomacy or international solidarity work since 1985 and has been in the forefront of peace-building work from 2000 including leading the establishment of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus and the Mindanao Peaceweavers.

For more information and to register please click here.