The southern Philippines has a long history of conflict, most of the conflict has been in the south in the remote islands of central Mindanao. In Mindanao, the followers of Islam – referred to as Moros make up a sizeable part of the population.
From 2012 – 2014 Co-operation Ireland CEO Peter Sheridan has been part of a delegation who have been invited to assist local groups in the area since the signing of the Framework Peace Agreement. The Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro is a preliminary peace agreement signed in the Malacañan Palace in Manila, Philippines on 15 October 2012. The Agreement called for the creation of an autonomous political entity named Bangsamoro.
The focus of the visit was to assist in underpinning the work on policing in the peace process where the aim was to contribute to the success of the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). After the signing of the Framework Agreement, this support has been focused primarily on the issue of policing. Other visits also provided technical assistance to the Independent Commission on Policing (ICP) and other relevant interlocutors in the Philippines, in addition the tour helped facilitate a series of meetings with a team of recognised experts with direct experience of the negotiation and implementation of the agreements on police reform in Northern Ireland