An Analysis of the Incidence and Human Costs of Violent Conflicts in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao
Capuno, Joseph J. | April 2017
Like other developing countries, the Philippines has a long history of internecine warfare or conflicts, especially in Mindanao where the secessionist conflicts alone since the 1970s have resulted in enormous human and economic costs. That this and other conflicts continue to this day underscore the need for a better understanding of their causes to guide policy. Applying regression analysis on the conflict dataset for 2011-2014 of the Bangsamoro Conflict Monitoring System, we identify the important correlates of the incidence of violent conflicts and their human costs (fatalities and injuries) in the cities and municipalities of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The internal revenue allocation (IRA) and poverty rates are negatively correlated with the incidence of identity conflicts. Further, the IRA and the frequency of shadow economy conflicts are positively correlated. There is some evidence of spatial spillover: the incidence of violent conflicts due to crime, governance, political or shadow economy issues is associated more with the overall incidence than the incidence of any particular type of conflicts in the neighboring local government units (LGUS). The incidence of the same types of conflicts also tends to be lower in places where the incumbent mayor and governor belong to the same clan. Further, the incidence is generally higher in cities, especially in Cotabato City, than in municipalities, or in provincial capitals. Relative to other places, Isabela City and Lanao del Sur appear safer or more peaceful. While the incidence of resource conflicts appears lower in 2012 than in 2011, in general there is no significant variation in the incidence of any type of conflict across years. The analysis of human costs shed few new or nuanced findings. First, it is the neighbors’ total number deaths and injuries rather than that of deaths alone or injuries alone that is correlated with the total deaths or total injuries in a given locality. Second, the number of injuries in the neighboring jurisdictions has lagged and possibly negative effects on the incidence of the same in a given locality. Relative to municipalities, cities tend to have greater number of deaths but not of injuries. To contain violent conflicts and their human costs, these results suggest that policy interventions are better directed at cities, especially Cotabato City, more in Maguindanao and less in Lanao del Sur, or in places where mayors and governors are related, or at once to wherever they occur initially to prevent them spilling over to adjacent places.
CitationCapuno, Joseph J.. 2017. An Analysis of the Incidence and Human Costs of Violent Conflicts in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. © The Asia Foundation. http://hdl.handle.net/11540/6914.
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