Updates Per Peace Table

milf

Zero GPH-MILF armed clashes since January 2012 -- Leonen

Manila, June 20 – Government of the Philippines (GPH) peace panel chair Marvic Leonen said there have been no recorded armed skirmishes between government forces and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) troops since January this year.

“The ceasefire is holding,” stated Leonen adding that the government remains committed in upholding the primacy of the peace process as reflected in the decreased incidents of armed clashes in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

The panel chair added that the improvement on the ground is due to the proper coordination of the Joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the GPH and the MILF.

The Joint CCCH is composed of members from the GPH and the MILF, as well as neutral parties. Established in 2003, it has been tasked to monitor the implementation of the GPH-MILF Agreement on the Cessation of Hostilities and resolve complaints over ceasefire violations so that small skirmishes do not intensify.

Leonen related that reports from the GPH CCCH indicate that 14 armed clashes were recorded in 2010, while only 8 in 2011. After the GPH-MILF incident in Al-Barka, Basilan in October 2011, “there has been no more.”

“There was no spill-over of the incident,” Leonen said.

However, he pointed out the fact that there continues to be a number of armed skirmishes in the south between feuding families, and law enforcers and lawless groups.

In this view, necessary coordination with the MILF in running after criminals within MILF-controlled areas is being facilitated by the Joint CCCH and the recently reactivated Ad Hoc Joint Action Group, which are bilateral efforts of the two parties to curb and deter criminal activities and potential flashpoints in areas covered by the ceasefire agreement.

From 698 to zero

Based on the latest infographic released by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, 698 armed skirmishes recorded in 2002 have downsized to eight in 2011 and zero in 2012.

During the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, there were 1,661 GPH-MILF clashes. The years 2005 and 2007 had the lowest records with 10 and eight, respectively, in the span of Arroyo’s nine-year presidency. However, the numbers went high again in 2008 with 218 clashes due to the foiled signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain. 

The number of recorded clashes is now down to zero this year, the third year of Pres. Benigno Aquino III’s administration.

PH peace situation improves, studies show

The numbers that reflect the improvements on the ground have been complemented by national and international studies.

According to the 2012 Global Peace Index, the Philippines is among the top five nations that registered “improvements in peacefulness.” Joining it are Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Bhutan and Guyana.

The report also said that the Philippines’ high score was a result of improvements in the indicators which are homicide rate; number of deaths from internal conflict; likelihood of violent demonstrations; and incidence of terrorist acts.

Pulse Asia’s Ulat ng Bayan National Survey conducted on May 20 to 26, 2012, on the other hand, stressed that 50 percent of respondents approve of the P-Noy administration’s efforts on “increasing peace in the country.”