In the recent years the security situation in the Philippines has progressively been worsening, as the country placed 10thin the latest (2018) , ranking 1stin the Asia-Pacific region. With three main active terrorist groups – the communist New People’s Army (NPA) and the ISIL-aligned Islamist Abu Sayyaf and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) – the country recently marked the highest number of deaths from terrorism in decades, totaling 326 fatalities in 2017.
The primary security concern with regards to terrorism are IEDs. According to the , between 2011 and 2016 the Philippines recorded 126 IED incidents. The Abu Sayyaf group has been particularly active recently, especially in the Western Mindanao region, prompting the police and the army to step up their intelligence and security operations. Notably, a major incident took place in Marawi City in 2017 where the Islamist groups Abu Sayyaf and MILF enacted a five-month siege locked in a stand-off with the law enforcement. Furthermore, though the New People’s Army (NPA) has also been accused of utilizing primitive biological warfare, IEDs remain the primary concern.
Even though the country has so far not experienced any chemical or biological warfare incidents, it nevertheless began to significantly build up its CBRN capacity in the recent years. The country has received substantial foreign aid in the security area, with the US having provided extensive training and assistance and the EU having funded the establishment of the CBRN Centre of Excellence’s regional secretariat in the Philippines in 2013 aimed at enhancing CBRN capabilities in South-East Asia.
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