Peace Talks and Autonomy in Mindanao
This chapter examines how political interests in Mindanao and in Manila have made it difficult to resolve the territorial cleavage in southern Philippines, even though the 1987 Constitution envisioned Muslim autonomy within the unitary republic. It first provides a historical background on the Muslim insurgency in Mindanao, led by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and later, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). It also considers the 1976 Tripoli agreement signed under martial law, the drafting of the 1987 Constitution, and the creation of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in 1989. It goes on to describe the period of constitutional engagement and more specifically, the “constitutional moment” for resolving the Mindanao question that began in mid-2010. Finally, it analyzes the outcome of the peace talks between the government and the Moro insurgents, along with some of significant the lessons that can be drawn from the experience.
Keywords: territorial cleavage, Philippines, Muslim insurgency, Mindanao, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Tripoli agreement, 1987 Constitution, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, peace talks, autonomy
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