Manila’s Ambivalence Main Obstacle to Peace in Southern Philippines

Manila’s Ambivalence Main Obstacle to Peace in Southern Philippines

DENPASAR, Indonesia -- Tension remains high in the Philippines as an investigative team tries to ascertain who mutilated 10 of the 14 soldiers killed in a recent encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the island of Basilan July 10.

Should the investigators fail to find answers, war could erupt again in the southernmost part of the country, where Islamic groups have been fighting for independence for decades.

Manila has gathered 5,000 soldiers on tiny Basilan in the Sulu Archipelago, also home to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group. But the MILF appears unfazed, and while calling for restraint, it is said to be ready for war. Should fighting erupt in Basilan, it likely will spill over to Mindanao, the nearby island whose residents include both Christians and Muslims, where the MILF has most of its 12,000-strong army.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review