The MoA-AD Debacle – An Analysis of Individuals’ Voices, Provincial Propaganda and National Disinterest

Timothy Williams

Abstract


For nearly forty years a violent conflict has been raging in Mindanao where the Moros are fighting for independence from the Philippine state. On August 5th 2008 the peace negotiation panels of the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front were set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MoA-AD), a final stepping stone on the way to a comprehensive peace agreement. However, a well-organised wave of protest swept from Christian settlers in Mindanao to the Supreme Court in Manila which declared the agreement unconstitutional. This paper presents a chronology of events surrounding the debate, analyses the arguments used in support and opposition of the MoA-AD and searches for causes of its demise, before looking at lessons to be learned for the future, especially regarding what President Arroyo can achieve before leaving office this year and what will be left to her successor.

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