Philippines: Authorities say church bombing not connected to Mindanao referendum

Philippine soldiers and investigators are probing the centre of the Catholic cathedral in Jolo where the first bomb went off during mass on Sunday morning, killing at least 20 people. (Photo: Getty)
In one of the deadliest attacks in the southern Philippines in years, a bomb blast at a church killed at least 20 people and injured 112 on Sunday morning, 27 January. Among the dead are five soldiers who came to the rescue after the first bomb went off inside the . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi conflict ‘not only about religion’, study finds

Last year’s conflict that displaced 98% of Marawi's population, was not only caused by religious violence, a study finds. (Photo: Getty Images)
A study by International Alert concluded that the armed conflict in the southern Philippines city of Marawi last year was not only about religion. The findings were released by the independent peacebuilding group in the capital, Manila, on Tuesday (2 October). “Evidence shows that membership in extremist groups was prompted . . . Read More

Philippines priest celebrates first year of ‘second life’ after escape

Fr. Teresito “Chito” Suganob in a still taken from a video shortly after his release.
On the anniversary of his escape, the Catholic priest held hostage for four months by an Islamist group in the southern Philippines city of Marawi says he has since found a new lease of life, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. Father Teresito Suganob was one of around 200 people taken . . . Read More

Philippines: Mindanao Christians present ‘policy agenda’ for new Muslim region

Christians form a minority in southern Philippines and policy proposals dealt with their concerns once they become citizens of an autonomous Muslim region. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
Christian leaders have submitted a “Christian policy agenda” to the transitory body that will facilitate the formation of a new autonomous Muslim region in the southern Philippines, reports the Catholic news website UCAN. The agenda, put together after consultations last month in several areas set to become part of the . . . Read More

Philippines: Internet café bomb kills two Christian teenagers

Philippines: Internet café bomb kills two Christian teenagers
A bomb explosion in a town in the southern Philippines on 2 September claimed the lives of an 18-year-old catechist (he taught the Christian faith in public schools in his free time) and his 15-year-old cousin, Catholic news agency UCAN reports. The blast that killed Jun Mark Luda and Marialyn . . . Read More

Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?

Will new Muslim region in southern Philippines bring peace?
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has called on all communities in the southern Mindanao region to support the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) that is to facilitate the creation of an autonomous Muslim region. During a ceremony on Monday, 6 August, he urged the local population “to actively participate in constructive discussions . . . Read More

Philippines: Bangsamoro draft law includes religious freedom provision

The siege of the city of Marawi in Mindanao by Islamists one year ago, displaced many people. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)
The final draft of the law that will give greater autonomy to the southern Philippines region of Mindanao will include a provision allowing for religious freedom in the majority-Muslim territory, reports Catholic news agency UCAN. A panel of members from both the lower house and the Senate is expected to . . . Read More

Philippines parliament approves bill for autonomous Bangsamoro

The Bangsamoro Basic Law is seen as key to ending decades of conflict and stopping the growth of Islamic extremism in the southern region of Mindanao where just last year the city of Marawi was attacked by a militant group. (Photo: Getty Images)
The Philippines parliament yesterday (30 May) approved a bill that will give greater autonomy to the southern region of Mindanao, as reported by Reuters. The approval of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is another step towards the creation a new autonomous territory called Bangsamoro, named after its ‘Moro’, or Muslim, . . . Read More

Philippines: Marawi, a year after Islamist siege, 50,000 still in temporary shelter

Street in battle-scarred Marawi in a still taken from a video.
 People in the battle-scarred Southern Philippines city of Marawi are trying to rebuild their homes and lives one year after the place was stormed by Islamist militants. On 23 May 2017, militants belonging to the Maute group, an affiliate of Islamic State, took over Marawi. In what followed, five . . . Read More