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MENAFN - Khaleej Times - 08/10/2012

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(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Manila finally has a political understanding to cheer. The landmark agreement that has been reached with the country's largest rebel group is laudable.

It could come to address the insurgency that has been going on for the last four decades, literally decamping the country's synergies from peace and development. The good point, however, is that the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has nodded in affirmative to the framework of peace, and officially thanked the government for accepting its demand for granting maximum autonomy to the Muslim-populous region. The deal stuck in Malaysia is likely to be signed on October 15, marking the end of a black era that claimed more than 120,000 lives.

It is, undeniably, a feat for President Benigno Aquino who had cautiously treaded the path of reconciliation. Though earlier administrations had also tried to reach out to the rebels, they were unsuccessful owing to host of reasons, and the prime among them being playing to the gallery with the intent purpose of political point scoring. The fact that Aquino III is willing to walk an extra mile to do away with the irritant of militarisation is appreciated. As per the salient features of the agreement not only will the troublesome region named after the locals as Bangsamoro, but in a phased-wise manner the army withdrawn to enable the indigenously raised police force take on administrative responsibilities. Similarly, Manila's desire to see the region's natural resources tapped by the locals, and put to work a federal system at work could go a long way in broadening the constituency of peace. This amicable settlement of political discord is a precedent that many of the regional countries can follow in times of chaos and confusion.

 






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