An important aspect in the resolution of civil conflict pertains to the political transition of rebel groups, dissipation of their command structures and reintegration of former combatants. In this paper, we draw on empirical data collected in select communities of Lanao, Cotabato and Maguindanao provinces of Mindanao, Philippines during June 2010 to explore future trends in civilian support for the main separatist rebel outfit in Mindanao – the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). We test variance in the existence of recruitment pools among the two main Muslim ethnic groups – the Maranao and the Maguindanao. Our findings suggest that recruitment into MILF is not simply about religion or ideology, this is a simplification of its underlying support base. Several factors such as geographic location, especially proximity to Armed Forces of the Philippines camps, and conflict-related impacts of displacement, together with disparity in governance delivery levels, have resulted in divergence in levels of support for the Bangsamoro struggle between the two main ethnic groups. These variables will have an impact on the future existence of the MILF as a rebel movement.
Ozerdem, A., & Podder, S. (2012). Grassroots and Rebellion: A Study on the future of the Moro Struggle in Mindanao, Philippines. Civil Wars, 14(4), 521-545. https://doi.org/10.1080/13698249.2012.740202