Illicit drugs and peace: Challenges for the Bangsamoro peace process

This policy brief argues that the illicit drug economy should be regarded as a strategic concern in the peace process between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Left unchecked, the combination of drug-related corruption and violence is likely to have an adverse effect on the governance institutions of the future Bangsamoro. Stakeholders in the peace process therefore need to turn their attention to the drug economy and use the implementation of the peace agreement as an opportunity to address the drug problem.

Priorities for action include using drug enforcement as a confidence-building measure, insulating the new Bangsamoro police from corruption, providing alternative economic opportunities for poor communities, challenging the sense of impunity among drug criminals, preventing money laundering, and cutting the links between criminals and politicians.