In July 2019, the Philippines was first to adopt of a National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Terrorism in Southeast Asia. P/CVE was touted to be positive move away from a kinetic approach to terrorism towards a more preventative approach. Yet just a year after, the Philippine government signed into law the highly contested Anti-Terrorism Act. June 2020. This law is seen by many as the latest move by the government to use countering ‘terrorism’ as the pretext to repress dissent and as a shortcut in addressing existing armed conflicts in the country.
This discussion paper explores how the renewed global focus on counter-terrorism, combined with rise of authoritarianism and militarism in the Philippines, has produced an explosive cocktail; one that is having damaging effects on conflict dynamics, civic space and the democratic freedoms of citizens.
It recommends a significant change in approach by security and development partners in the Philippines, multilateral institutions and international NGOs, and national CSOs, as well as a number of lessons for policymakers at the national and global level.
Read the report here.