SEMINAR: The Peace Process in the Southern Philippines: Challenges and Prospects


The Peace Process in the Southern Philippines: Its Challenges and Prospects

November 15, 2015 13:30-17:00
Venue:  Tachikawa International Hall, Rikkyo University, Ikebukuro Campus

The armed conflict in the Southern Philippines started around 1970 mainly as the Moro (Islamized indigenous people of the Southern Philippines) began to claim their right to self-determination.  It has become one of the longest armed conflicts in the world today. In order to bring an end to the fighting, the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have agreed to a roadmap to establish a new autonomous government, named the Bangsamoro government, by 2016. However, the draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would be the legal foundation of the Bangsamoro Government, has raised questions among the public and legislature, going through a rough road towards its enactment.

Under the program entitled J-BIRD (Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development), Japan has offered peacebuilding assistance to the Southern Philippines since 2006. How can Japan, together with international actors, contribute to the peace process?


Opening Remarks by Prof. Makoto Ueda, Director, Centre for Asian Area Studies, Rikkyo University
Introduction by Masako Ishii

Negotiating an agreement is difficult but implementing it is much harder
By Chairman Mohagher Iqbal

14:45-15:00 Break

The Arduous Path to Peace: The Challenges of the Bangsamoro Peace Process
By Mr. Abdulla Camlian

Bangsamoro Basic Law: Challenges and Realities
By Atty. Salma Rasul


Closing Remarks by Prof. Toshiya Hoshino, Executive Vice President, Osaka University


Profile of the speakers:

Chairman, Mohagher Iqbal
Chief Negotiator, MILF Peace Panel
Chairman, Bangsamoro Transition Committee
Mohagher Iqbal graduated from Manuel Quezon University in Manila: Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 1969; Master of Arts in Political Science in 1972. He joined the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in 1972, and the MILF in 1977. He has been the chief negotiator of the MILF peace panel since July 29, 2003. After long enduring negotiation, he and the MILF had signed with the Philippine Government the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) in October 2012 and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) on March 27, 2014. The two landmark agreements provided for the road-map toward the establishment of final peace in Mindanao. He is the Chair of the Bangsamoro Transition Committee which had been tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law. He is one the senior leaders of the MILF. He appears in the Philippines newspaper daily especially during the congressional investigation of the Mamasapano Incident where 44 Police commandos and 18 MILF fighters died during a fierce fighting in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015. His publications include; The Long Road to Peace: Inside the GRP-MILF Peace Process, and Bangsamoro: A Nation under Endless Tyranny by the name of alias Salah Jubair. He has also written several pamphlets or articles on the Bangsamoro.

Mr. Abdulla Camlian
Member, MILF Peace Panel
Commissioner, Bangsamoro Transition Commission
Director, Islamic Welfare Society of the Philippines, Inc.
Abdulla Camlian graduated from Cairo Military Academy, Arab Republic of Egypt in 1965. He was one of the leaders of the liberation movement of Moro people in the 1970s. He also served government position such as Executive Assistant to the Administrator of Southern Philippine Development Administration, and Deputy Executive Director of the Office on Muslim Affairs (presently, National Commission on Muslim Filipinos) standing between the Philippine Government and Moro people, he has been engaging in various activities to promote peace and development of the Moro communities. Since 2010, he has been a member of the MILF peace panel. He presently sits as Commissioner to Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the office tasked to draft and enforce the law that will provide the political structure for the Bangsamoro Government.

Atty. Salma Rasul
Executive Director, Philippine Center for Islam and Democracy (PCID)
Director, Center for Islamic Law, University of the Philippines
Salma Rasul graduated from Philippine University. As a director of the PCID, she has been engaged in advocacy work on the topics of “democracy”, “human rights” and “interfaith dialogue”. As an attorney, she has profound knowledge on legal aspects of establishing the Bangsamoro Government. She also serves as a General Counsel of Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Manila. She has rich experiences as a specialist and a consultant of Development Bank of the Philippines, Immigration Associates, etc.

Professor Masako Ishii
Professor, College of Intercultural Communication, Rikkyo University. Graduated from Sophia University in Tokyo. She has been studying about the Muslim societies in the Southern Philippines since 1994.  Her publications include “Do “dividends of peace” bring peace?: Challenge and prospects of J-BIRD to the conflict-affected region in the Southern Philippines (Keiso-shobo, 2013, in Japanese); Stories of Muslim women in the Philippines: Armed conflict, development and social change (Akashi Shoten, 2000, in Japanese)

Language: English with brief Japanese translation
Fee: Free

Asia Peacebuilding Initiatives, Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University; Funded by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Rikkyo University Centre for Asian Area Studies

For further information and registration, please contact:
Asia Peacebuilding Initiatives
Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP), Osaka University
E-mail: (Yoshimura, Matsuno)
Address: 1-31, Machikaneyama-cho, Toyonaka City, Osaka, 560-0043, Japan
Phone: 06-6850-5646 (APB Secretariat)