Philippine Court Nixes Deal With Insurgency

October 16, 2008 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

Interesting counterinsurgency story out of the Philippines, where the government is trying to accommodate the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the Philippine government’s offer to expand an autonomous Muslim region as part of a peace deal has run afoul of the country’s Supreme Court, which considers the offer to be an illegal partition of the country:

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Wednesday it would now appeal to the international community before considering more talks with Manila. Commentators in the Philippines urged a continuation of the peace process, but some also characterized Tuesday’s ruling as a victory for the rule of law.

The peace process was already in tatters after violence since August has left 100 dead and more than half a million people displaced.

Interesting questions all. Should the international community intercede on behalf of an insurgent group, even if it’s: a) willing to work within the system and/or b) making an apparent good-faith attempt at long-term reconciliation? Doesn’t the rule of law have to withstand even the exigencies of an emergency to really stand as the rule of law? Or does the law have to be bent to accommodate the biggest emergencies?

I don’t have the answers, but the questions are worth considering, especially because the U.S. will likely keep finding itself confronting them during what some in the military call the Era of Persistent Conflict.