Philippines autonomy deal 'illegal'

Supreme court rejects plan to handover control of towns and villages to separatists.

    Mindanao island has suffered more than three decades of conflict [EPA]

    The Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain was to have paved the way for a final political settlement with the MILF, which has been fighting for autonomy in the south of the country since 1978.

    But the court had blocked the signing of the deal on August 4 after Christian politicians claimed it violated the constitution and would lead to the country being split. 

    Gloria Arroyo, the president, has sent additional troops to Mindanao and said peace talks will resume only if the separatists disarm and the leaders responsible for the renewed attacks surrender.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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