Saturday, July 26, 2008

ABS-CBN: Government-MILF talks collapse

This news from ABS-CBN: Government-MILF talks on Moro homeland collapse.

The Philippine government and the largest Muslim rebel group failed to reach a pact on Friday to create an ancestral home for 3 million Muslims in the country's south, both sides said.

Such an agreement is seen as vital for a resumption of formal peace talks, but would not guarantee the end of a near 40-year-old conflict that has killed 120,000 people and displaced 2 million on the resource-rich island of Mindanao.


Apparently, the cause was the reopening of territorial discussions.

"The talks collapsed because the government was undoing already-settled issues. The signing ceremony set for August 5 was cancelled," he told Reuters. "They're trying to re-open discussions on what had been agreed upon."

"To everyone's surprise, the Philippine government re-visited the territorial issues which took us 14 months to resolve," the source said. "The territorial issue ... has created an impasse and led to the collapse."


Perhaps this is related to the uproar in North Cotabato, with citizens arming themselves for their possible inclusion into the Bangsamoro Juridical Entity.

The problem with the agreement was that, as with many things in the Arroyo administration, its contents were never made public. Everything was done in secret, and does not take into account non-Moros who may be affected by the decision.

3 comments:

  1. The MILF represents no one but themselves. Two plebiscites have already been held on this issue and in both cases, the overwhelming majority of those polled rejected the idea of being placed in the thrall of theocracy. What is it with us? the Bangsa Moro are infinitely better off under this democracy than any restoration of the slave-raiding sultanates can possibly represent. GMA would sell the Constitution down the Pulangi River. Such talk deserves utter collapse!

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  2. Hi, Dean: Have you read "Muslim Rulers and Rebels?" I got a copy at Powerbooks, but it's also available online.

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  3. The fact that the contents of the MOA was not made public even to the very people who will supposed to benefit from this made me think the government is again playing "judas" to both parties.

    On sidenote, an observant (muslim) friend noted that among our brother muslims, most of the vast tract of lands are owned by the sultans themselves and not the so many nameless average muslims. If this observation is true, I doubt it that the so called ancestral domain will even be felt by our common muslim brothers.

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