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MILF radical shift for peace

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front has disclosed a very significant agenda in the resumption of the peace talks in Kuala Lumpur. It is noteworthy that the secessionist front has dropped its independence bid and opted for a creation of a sub-state in Mindanao where essentially the affairs of the government will be run by the Moro people. This proposal dovetails with what most Mindanaowons are demanding from day one when the talks for Charter change was floated. The concept in fact can heal the differences among Christians, Muslims and Lumads as the idea elicits commonality in aspirations among the Mindanaowons.

While the MILF calls it sub-state it is actually akin to the federal state which the federalist groups in Mindanao had also proposed.

We therefore hail the  MILF proposal as a harbinger of genuine and stable peace in Mindanao as it has dropped not only the issue of independence but  national defense, foreign affairs, currency and coinage and postal services among others. This to us is unprecedented and practically pulled the rug under the government panel which will now be put to task to agree to this proposal.

MILF chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the central government will have defense jurisdiction over the sub-state and that the  sub-state would not have soldiers, but internal security (forces) only. The sub-state is not independent state and will be under the Philippines Iqbal assured us.

We share the optimism of  Iqbal that within two years or even less  a comprehensive compact will be signed. This proposal is a radical shift which now leaves the ball in the hands of the government panel.

This opens a new vista of peaceful Mindanao and we unconditionally support this move up to its fruition. (MW)




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