by Chandra Muzaffar

Monday, October 15, 2012 11:43
Copyright © Chandra Muzaffar., Global Research, 2012
published on Global Research 12 Oct 2012
republished here under the term of “Fair Use”

The Peace Accord to be signed in Manila on the 15th of October 2012 between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is of tremendous significance to the Philippines nation. If it succeeds, it will not only bring to an end a decades-old conflict which has claimed at least 150,000 lives but also resolve the larger question of the rights and dignity of the Muslim populace in a land that they once ruled —- a question which is deeply rooted in the tragic history of Spanish colonialism and American occupation.

The Accord addresses the primary concerns of both the Manila Government and the Muslims of Mindanao. For the Government it preserves the territorial integrity and the geographical unity of the nation in accordance with the Philippine Constitution. Besides, the Government will retain authority over foreign policy, defence, security, monetary matters and citizenship. Mindanao Muslims will exercise some control over revenues, enjoy an equitable share of the benefits of taxation, and manage local-level law enforcement within an autonomous Bangsamoro region which will come into being in about two years.

The Peace Accord will be finalised in 2016 by which time details about the extent of the Bangsamoro territory and the laws governing the region would be worked out. The next few years will also witness a plebiscite to be followed by an election. A Ministerial form of Government will most likely take shape.
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