A review of the Philippines' approach to combating terrorism and insurgency in Bangsamoro Southern Philippines
Taharudin Piang Ampatuan
Date of Issue2008
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This thesis assesses and analyzes the Philippine counterinsurgency and counter terrorism campaign in Bangsamoro Southern Philippines. It essentially examines the Philippine government response in the four elements that are considered vital in a winning counterinsurgency strategy: (a) Unified Command and Coordination Structure, (b) Effective anti-terrorist legislations combined with confidence-building measures, (c) Coordination within and Between intelligence agencies, and (d) Foreign collaboration. For this purpose, the thesis draws on the British operations in Northern Ireland, and identifies and incorporates relevant lessons and experiences from this campaign (occasionally, from Philippines and US counterinsurgency operations successes in the Moro territories as well as the British operations in Malaya). It concludes that the Philippine response in the Bangsamoro Southern Philippines has been woefully inadequate in meeting the threat at hand, and that lack of comprehensive and coherent counter-insurgency strategy combined with an absence of political will and gusto are the primary reasons for the campaign's failure. The thesis then formulates a holistic counter-insurgency strategy by suggesting changes in the present campaign and recommending important counter measures and policy actions that have either been overlooked or ignored by the Philippine government policy makers.