The Bangsamoro Framework Agreement has been signed with both parties jubilant. Will the excitement last until the final peace accord has been signed or will it die a natural death even before it happens? Will it succeed or just trigger renewed atrocities and more turmoil? That’s the $64 question. So much has been said about the framework. There have been pros and cons on the matter. But at the end of the day, what we are simply trying to achieve is peace for all. In so doing, the people of Mindanao can go back to their homes and start rebuilding their lives. The conflict between Filipino Muslims dates back to 1899 during the uprising of the Bangsamoro people to resist foreign rule from the United States. In the 1960s, during the time of President Marcos, 68 Filipino Muslim military trainees were murdered in Corregidor allegedly by soldiers of the AFP. By then, UP professor Nur Misuari formed the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to condemn the killings and seek the establishment of a Bangsamoro nation through force of arms. In 1969, the MNLF waged armed conflict against the Philippine government. In one of the fierce battles of the insurgency in 1974, Jolo was burned down and news of the tragedy galvanized other Mulsims around the world to pay greater attention to the conflict. Two years later, the Philippine government and the MNLF signed the Tripoli agreement, declaring ceasefire on both sides. The agreement provides that Mindanao would remain part of the Philippines but 13 of its provinces would be under the autonomous government for the Bangsamoro people. However, Pres. Marcos went against the agreement that resulted in violence. In 1977, Shiekh Salamat Hashim established the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a splinter group of the MNLF seeking to establish an Islamic state. Conflicts between these rebel groups and the AFP continued until the end of the Marcos regime. When President Corazon Aquino took office, she arranged a meeting with...
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