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The way to peace in Mindanao

, / 05:51 PM January 25, 2014

1997

Peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) begin, months after the government signs a peace accord with the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

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2008

July—After more than a decade of on-and-off talks, the government and the MILF announce an agreement to expand the autonomous Moro region in Mindanao.

Proposed memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain, or MOA-AD, calls for a Bangsamoro Juridical Entity (BJE) with its own “basic law,” police and internal security force, and system of banking and finance, civil service, education and legislative and electoral institutions, as well as full authority to develop and dispose of minerals and other natural resources.

The BJE includes the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); six municipalities in Lanao del Norte; hundreds of villages in the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato, which voted in 2001 to become part of the ARMM; and parts of Palawan.

August 4—The Supreme Court stops signing of the MOA-AD, scheduled the following day, amid strong public opposition; clashes erupt in Mindanao.

September 3—Violence prompts Malacañang to announce that it will not sign the MOA-AD and dissolve its peace panel.

October 14—The Supreme Court, voting 8-7, declares the MOA-AD unconstitutional, describes the process that led to its crafting as “whimsical, capricious, oppressive, arbitrary and despotic.” It affirms its decision on Nov. 11, triggering MILF attacks on Christian communities in Mindanao that send 750,000 people fleeing their homes and leaving 400 dead.

2010

July 15—President Aquino assembles new panel to resume talks, names Marvic Leonen, dean of the University of the Philippines College of Law, as chair.

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August 31—The President announces that Malaysia will remain facilitator of the talks.

2011

August 4—The President holds secret meeting with MILF chair Murad Ebrahim in Tokyo; two sides agree to speed up peace talks. The meeting is a first since the talks began in 1997.

August 22—Exploratory talks begin in Kuala Lumpur.

October 18—MILF forces clash with military troops in Al-Barka, Basilan, leaving 19 soldiers and six rebels dead.

December 5—Formal talks resume in Kuala Lumpur.

2012

April 25—The government and the MILF panels announce agreement to create a new autonomous political entity to replace the ARMM.

October 7—President Aquino says “framework agreement” reached with MILF to establish a new autonomous entity, to be called Bangsamoro, administered by Muslims

2013

February  11—The President and MILF chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim launched Sajahatra Bangsamoro(“Blessings, Prosperity and Peace upon the Bangsamoro”) at the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute in Sulta Kudarat, Maguindanao

March 7—Task Force Sajahatra was created bvy the MILF at Camp Darapanan to deal closely with the government’s Task Force on Bangsamoro Development.

December 4—42nd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks start.

December 6—MILF  chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal has said that a final draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law  that will seal a final peace deal with the government would be finalized in April next year

December 7—42nd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks end.

2014

January 24—43rd Government of the Philippines and MILF Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia start allowing for the completion of the normalization annex.

The normalization annex deals with the overall security in the new Bangsamoro that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the timeframe and manner by which the Moro rebels are expected to lay down their arms.

This could be the final round of negotiations between the two panels should they agree on the last annex that would make up the comprehensive peace agreement aimed.

January 25— The Philippine government and the MILF agree  to sign the last annex of the Bangsamoro framework, sealing the peace pact that seeks to end the decades-long Muslim secessionist movement in the country

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TAGS: Agreement, ARMM, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Bangsamoro, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, MILF, Mohagher Iqbal, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Negotiation, peace process, Peace Talks, President Benigno Aquino III
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