Uncertainty in Duterte's Muslim Mindanao

Uncertainty in Duterte's Muslim Mindanao Southeast Asian Affairs 2017 UNCERTAINTY IN DUTERTE’S MUSLIM MINDANAO President Rodrigo Duterte’s ascent to Malacañang has been hailed as the best chance to resolve the challenges of secessionism and terrorism in Mindanao. Hailing from Davao City, Duterte has emphasized his Mindanao roots. Coupled with the curated image of an everyman, the new Philippine President has promised a definitive end to the Mindanao conflict. Lofty promises aside, it would appear that Duterte has yet to craft a coherent and consistent policy to steer Mindanao out of conflict. Instead, contradicting policies reflecting volatility and continuity appear to be the Duterte model for peace. For extremist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute Group, Duterte appears to take a hard-line combat and intelligence-driven approach — for now. However, volatility has also characterized Duterte’s stance against these fringe extremist groups, from casting them as “desperate” poverty-stricken individuals to criminals “slaughtering people as if they were chickens”.1 In contrast, continuity appears to be the direction his administration has taken as it deals with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as seen in the reconstitution of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). It is uncertain whether Duterte’s ambivalent policy towards Mindanao http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southeast Asian Affairs Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Uncertainty in Duterte's Muslim Mindanao

Southeast Asian Affairs, Volume 2017 – May 5, 2017

Uncertainty in Duterte's Muslim Mindanao


Southeast Asian Affairs 2017 UNCERTAINTY IN DUTERTE’S MUSLIM MINDANAO President Rodrigo Duterte’s ascent to Malacañang has been hailed as the best chance to resolve the challenges of secessionism and terrorism in Mindanao. Hailing from Davao City, Duterte has emphasized his Mindanao roots. Coupled with the curated image of an everyman, the new Philippine President has promised a definitive end to the Mindanao conflict. Lofty promises aside, it would appear that Duterte has yet to craft a coherent and consistent policy to steer Mindanao out of conflict. Instead, contradicting policies reflecting volatility and continuity appear to be the Duterte model for peace. For extremist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute Group, Duterte appears to take a hard-line combat and intelligence-driven approach — for now. However, volatility has also characterized Duterte’s stance against these fringe extremist groups, from casting them as “desperate” poverty-stricken individuals to criminals “slaughtering people as if they were chickens”.1 In contrast, continuity appears to be the direction his administration has taken as it deals with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as seen in the reconstitution of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). It is uncertain whether Duterte’s ambivalent policy towards Mindanao peace will suffice to address the complexity of conflict in the southern Philippines. Duterte can ill afford missteps, considering the growing salience of external factors that impinge on Mindanao; namely, the spectre of violence inspired by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the outcome of peace negotiations with the National Democratic Front (NDF). A cohesive policy to address the is Research Fellow with the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological...
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Publisher
Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore
ISSN
1793-9135
Publisher site
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Abstract

Southeast Asian Affairs 2017 UNCERTAINTY IN DUTERTE’S MUSLIM MINDANAO President Rodrigo Duterte’s ascent to Malacañang has been hailed as the best chance to resolve the challenges of secessionism and terrorism in Mindanao. Hailing from Davao City, Duterte has emphasized his Mindanao roots. Coupled with the curated image of an everyman, the new Philippine President has promised a definitive end to the Mindanao conflict. Lofty promises aside, it would appear that Duterte has yet to craft a coherent and consistent policy to steer Mindanao out of conflict. Instead, contradicting policies reflecting volatility and continuity appear to be the Duterte model for peace. For extremist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and the Maute Group, Duterte appears to take a hard-line combat and intelligence-driven approach — for now. However, volatility has also characterized Duterte’s stance against these fringe extremist groups, from casting them as “desperate” poverty-stricken individuals to criminals “slaughtering people as if they were chickens”.1 In contrast, continuity appears to be the direction his administration has taken as it deals with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as seen in the reconstitution of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC). It is uncertain whether Duterte’s ambivalent policy towards Mindanao

Journal

Southeast Asian AffairsInstitute of Southeast Asian Studies

Published: May 5, 2017

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