There exist the internal conflicts in the Philippines–between the Government (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), on the one hand, and between the GRP and the Communist Party of the Philippines/New People’s Army/National Democratic Front (CPP/NPA/NDF), on the other hand. The protagonists against the government are the current embodiment of decades-old Moro and class rebellions in the country.
These are both political rebellions requiring political solutions. However, the government has been treating them historically as armed situations requiring military solutions, influenced, no doubt, by the US counter-insurgency strategies. The record speaks for itself: the government may defeat a particular group, may neutralize its leadership, or may scatter its followers. However–like a many-headed hydra or a resurrecting phoenix–the rebellions continue.
The democratic approach to these conflicts is logically a political accommodation of rebel groups, their grievances, and their agenda. A democratic system works by having all components of the political body compete for and win the support of the majority of the people in fair and free political processes, including elections. Once there is an exclusion of a particular group, then the seeds of conflict are sown.
A democratic approach to political settlement addresses the essential nature of the rebellion, which is political. However, only a democratic regime can implement it successfully. The Nepal political experiment bears watching.