August 21, 2008
BBC News

Philippine Autonomy Deal Scrapped

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 rebels.

But on 4 August the Supreme Court suspended the agreement after Christian lawmakers argued it was unconstitutional and would increase sectarian tensions. . . .


Swish Kris 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,", October 7, 2012]

[The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will receive 75% of the gold, copper and other resources mined from the southern island.--"Philippines and MILF rebels in wealth-sharing deal,", July 14, 2013]

[The biggest casualty was the Bangsa Moro Basic Law that was in the last stages of being shepherded through the Philippine Congress. Known as the "BBL," the bill was the product of nearly five years of intensive negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to put an end to almost 50 years of fighting in the southern Philippines.--"The U.S. Military Just Plunged Philippine Politics into Crisis,", March 17, 2015]

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