Fighting terror: The PCG

The crisis has further increased the focus on the institution within Philippine security.

Philippines Coast Guard in the Spotlight Amid Islamic State Terror Threat

By Prashanth Parameswaran

The recent siege by Islamic State-linked militants in the southern Philippine city in Marawi is just the latest sign of what some regional observers, myself included, have long warned about: the growing threat of the Islamic State in Southeast Asia and the grave consequences it can have for states in the subregion (See: “ASEAN’s Islamic State Conundrum”).

The focus of foreign media outlets has tended to be on outside assistance given to the Philippines, which is no doubt important given the fact that Manila still has one of the weakest militaries in the region. But there are also ongoing, albeit modest attempts in the Philippines to boost the country’s capabilities. One of the examples is the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), which is part of a wider trend in the region of the increased emphasis on coast guards (See: “Assessing Malaysia’s Coast Guard in ASEAN Perspective”).

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