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November 21, 2007

Philippines Concedes Territory To Muslim Separatists/Terrorists For Homeand

I'm sure this will work! It's always worked in the past, after all.

The Philippines government and separatist rebels have struck a deal on creating a Muslim homeland in the country's south which is expected to lead to a peace accord next year, officials said Thursday.

The agreement on the extent of territory to be handed over had been a major stumbling block in the peace talks that opened when a ceasefire was forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2001.

The two sides did not disclose the new borders agreed after two days of talks here, but Malaysian officials said the territory would be greater than the present autonomous region in the troubled island of Mindanao.

"After more than three decades of problems in Mindanao, it is for the government to give concessions. It could not be the other side, so the government has to concede what it think is reasonable," said Philippines chief negotiator Rodolfo Garcia.

In an issue known as "ancestral domain," the land in question consists of untitled communal farms that came under formal state ownership when the Philippines became a Spanish colony in the late 16th century.

"We are confident that the momentum of signing the ancestral domain agreement will be able to carry us forward in the other tests and challenges ahead," Garcia said.

Thanks to dri.


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