The Muslim Secessionist Movement in the Philippines: issues and prospects
Domingo, Ruben G.
Bruneau, Thomas C.
Buss, Claude A.
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The Muslim Secessionist Movement in Southern Philippines was for a time the most serious threat to the stability of the country. It started in the late 1960s with the formation of the Muslim Independence Movement. In the 197Os, the Moro National Liberation Front emerged as the lead secessionist organization. It waged a furious war against central authority. The objective of the MNLF is to establish a separate state comprising the islands of Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and Palawan. The hostilities reached its peat in the mid 70s when the MNLF received support from Libya and Sabah. Peace negotiations between the government and the MNLF resulted in the signing of the Tripoli Agreement in 1976. A divergent interpretation of the autonomy issue caused a breakdown in negotiations and a resumption of hostilities. Negotiations conducted during President Aquino's incumbency did not resolve the problem. The secessionist issue continues to be a daunting problem of the government in the 199Os. The government of President Ramos renewed peace negotiations with the MNLF. Spearheading the government reconciliation effort is the NUC. This thesis will examine the issues and prospects of the Secessionist Movement in light of the developments in the country and in the international scene. (AN)
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