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.