The newly-installed President of the Philippines, Noynoy Aquino, during his State of the Nation Address, promised to resume peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in November, but without provisions on ancestral domain: “We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, which sprung upon the people an agreement reached without consultation with all concerned . . . We are not blind to the fact that it (the memorandum on ancestral domain) was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.”
This is welcome news! For the longest time, I have been arguing against the wrongheaded principles that informed the Mindanao policy. Claiming land ownership on the basis of historic right would only lead to the legitimization and institutionalization of ethnic division in Mindanao.
For the next peace talks to succeed, the only thing left for the insurgents to do is to disarm themselves, with the Philippine government guaranteeing amnesty to those who will surrender. These conditions breed trust and confidence between negotiating parties. Without them, the promised peace talks will not achieve anything.