THE NORMATIVE GROUNDS OF THE MORO STRUGGLE AND THE FRAMEWORK OF AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO
Renante D. Pilapil
The decades-old Mindanao conflict has claim 120,000 lives and displaced more than two million civilians (Shiavo-Ocampo and Judd, 2005, 5). Such conflict, waged by Muslims in the Philippine south, has its earliest beginnings in the period of Spanish colonization and which continued until the 21st century. Various attempts were made in order to find a solution to the conflict, but each time an agreement is reached,it is found to be inadequate as it addresses only one group of Muslim rebels. An example of which is the 1995 Peace Agreement, which only addresses the claims of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) but not those of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) two of the major Muslim rebel groups operating in the south. Consequently, the Philippine Government was forced to engage in a separate peace talk with the latter beginning in 1997.. Recently, after fifteen years of tumultuous negotiation, surmounting legal, political, and ideological differences, an agreement called the Framework of Agreement on the Bangsamoro has been reached, hailed by many sectors of the Philippine society as providing the ultimate solution to the Mindanao conflict.