The Philippine government has pulled out of a controversial autonomy deal
with Muslim separatist rebels in the south, following days of fighting.
A presidential spokeswoman described the move as a "painful step", but said
leaders were still open to talks.
The government had agreed to expand an existing Muslim autonomous zone in a
bid to end decades of violence.
But Christian communities opposed the deal and when the Supreme Court
blocked it, the rebels launched attacks.
Earlier this week, raids by guerrillas from the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) on several towns near the border of the existing autonomous
zone in the southern island of Mindanao left at least 30 people dead.
The government had hoped that the autonomy deal - which would see the
existing region expanded by 712 villages - would kick-start talks with the
But on 4 August the Supreme Court suspended the agreement after Christian
lawmakers argued it was unconstitutional and would increase sectarian
tensions. . . .
This is an amazing piece. It is possible to read it online in
various sources. But I'd pay $100 for a hard copy. Anyone interested in
colonialism, SE Asian history, Filipino history, the political history that
lead to the rise of Abu Sayyaff (and thus Al Qaeda), anybody Filipino, or
who is into FMA, for that matter, anybody who likes pirate stories and
military history and action stories should read this.--Vic Hurley, "The
Swish of the Kris," Cacho Hermanos (1985), 1st ed 1936
Fred Hill, "Ethnic Cleansing In
Mindanao, Philippines," Islamic Horizons, April 17, 1996
Eric Margolis, "Philippines,
Next Target of Bush's War," Toronto Sun, January 26, 2002
Amir Butler, "An Enduring Freedom for
the Moros," The Wisdom Fund, February 15, 2002
[After years of calm, the oldest insurgency in Asia has flared into a
brutish war, with burned villages, slain families, artillery bombardments,
vigilante death squads and hundreds of thousands of displaced people.
The match was lit last month when the Philippine government abruptly backed
out of an all-but-done peace deal it had been quietly negotiating for years.
That enraged Muslim rebels here on Mindanao, a lush and resource-rich island
where Muslims and Christians have been elbowing each other for power and
land for more than four centuries.--Blaine Harden, "Philippines, Abandoned Deal Reignites Rebel
War," Washington Post, September 14, 2008]
[The deal, to be formally signed on 15 October, sets out the broad outlines
for a new region called Bangsamoro, which would enjoy considerable autonomy,
with Manila retaining control over defence, foreign policy and broad
macro-economic policy. The MILF will be tasked with helping create a new
"basic law" for the region, with final agreement scheduled for
2016--Sunshine Lichauco de Leon and Peter Walker, "Philippines and Muslim rebels agree landmark peace deal:
Agreement with Moro Islamic Liberation Front aims to establish autonomous
region in south and end 40 years of armed conflict,"
guardian.co.uk, October 7, 2012]