Dr. Rommel C. Banlaoi

Rommel C. Banlaoi is a Professorial Lecturer in the Department of International Studies at Miriam College and currently an Adjunct Research Professor at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies (NISCSS). He is the Chairman of the Board of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism Research (PIPVTR), President of the Philippine Association for Chinese Studies (PACS), and a member of the Management Board of the World Association for Chinese Studies (WACS). He is also a member of the International Panel of Expert of the Maritime Awareness Project (MAP) of the National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), and the Sasakawa USA Foundation, and a board member of the China-Southeast Asia Research Center on the South China Sea (CSARC).

Dr. Banlaoi was a Senior Fellow of the Yuchengco Center at the De La Salle University (DLSU) where he once served as Assistant Professor in International Studies. He also served as a Professor of International Relations and Political Science at the National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) and member of the Philippine Council for Foreign Relations (PCFR)-National Security Cluster (NSC). He served as a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law in Leiden University, the Netherlands, Fellow of the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS) in Hawaii, and Non-Resident Fellow of the Center for Global Counterterrorism Cooperation in New York City. While working in the academe, Dr. Banlaoi served various offices in the Philippine government as a consultant and adviser. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the Drugs Enforcement Group (DEG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) under the Duterte administration, and member of the Advisory Council of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the PNP during the Aquino III administration. He also worked at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Plans and Programs (ASPP) of the Department of National Defense (DND) during the Arroyo administration and at the Office of the Secretary (OSEC) of the DND during the Estrada administration. In July 2021, he was reappointed as a member of the Advisory Council of the CIDG.

Dr. Banlaoi received his BA and MA degrees in Political Science from the University of the Philippines in Diliman and a Ph D. in International Relations from Jinan University in Guangzhou, China. He also took various international graduate courses from Leiden University on International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Executive Course on Security Studies, and Comprehensive Security Responses to Terrorism Course from Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Hawaii. His main areas of research are political science, peace education, international relations, international peace and security, regional security, foreign and defense policy, South China Sea disputes, local governance, civil-military relations, security sector reforms, and international terrorism.

He authored more than 70 publications in high-impact journals. Some of his written works delved into peace education which highlights the promotion of the Philippines-China relationship. These include the ASEAN Regional Forum, the South China Sea Disputes, and the Functionalist Option (2001); Southeast Asian Perspectives on the Rise of China: Regional Security After 9/11 (2003); Defense and Military Cooperation Between the Philippines and China: Broadening Bilateral Ties in the Post-9/11 Era (2007); Southeast Asian Regionalism and China’s Soft Power Strategy in a Global Age (2010); Philippines-China Security Relations: Current Issues and Emerging Concerns (2012); Functional Cooperation and Joint Development: A Way Ahead in the South China Sea (2014); The Philippines: Security Options and Policy Implications (2017); Duterte Presidency: Shift in Philippines-China Relations (2017); Philippines-China Relations: Geopolitics, Economics and Counter Terrorism (2019); Benefits and Costs and the Philippines’ Paradigm Shift to China (2020); and Bilateral Consultative Mechanism in the South China Sea and Philippines-China Relations (2021).

His incomparable dedication to peace education, terrorism research, and non-violence studies made him the recipient of the Albani Peace Prize Award for Peace and National Security Education in 2011. He also received the “Kahanga-hangang Pilipino” (Outstanding Filipino) Award in 2012 for peace research. Dr. Banlaoi received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Humanitarian and Social Cause during the 2016 World Corporate Social Responsibility Congress Day held in Mumbai, India. His various research efforts on countering terrorism in the Philippines considered him to be called “the Father of Philippine counter-terrorism research” and the “leading Philippine scholar” studying radical Islam.” He’s also been considered as the country’s top security studies expert.

As part of his deep involvement in promoting Philippines-China relations, he offered lectures and talks to scholars and experts in various fields such as “China’s Current Naval Strategy and the South China Sea Disputes: Maritime Security Dilemma in Philippines-China Relations”, Chinese Studies Program Lecture Series (2014) and “Impacts from The Philippines’ ‘Pivot’ To China: Costs and Benefits, Changing the World Order? China’s Long-Term Strategy” (2019) to name a few. His recently published book entitled “Philippines-China Relations at 45 during the COVID-19 Pandemic: New Discoveries, Recent Developments, and Continuing Concerns” exhibits a collection of scholarly written articles of authors and experts across different disciplines commemorating Philippines-China relations at 45 amidst COVID-19.

Dr. Banlaoi is well sought and always being interviewed by various media outlets especially on issues concerning the South China Sea and Philippines-China bilateral relations. He has been promoting the two countries’ continued mutual understanding, friendship, and bilateral relations for three decades.