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Peace and war are not happy bedfellows

ROME (SE): The populist Rodrigo Duterte rode to victory in the May 2016 Philippine presidential polls on the back of two big issues, drugs and the peace process in Mindanao, promising to fix up both in a period of about 100 days.

However, as after six months he is no closer to denting the drug trade or rescuing the peace process, which is stumbling towards disaster, it is emerging that the two campaigns may be destroying each other.

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Applause for peace process

OSLO (SE): The long stalled peace negotiations between the government of The Philippines and the National Democratic Front opened at the Scandic Holmenkollen Park Hotel in Oslo, Norway, on August 22, after what in effect has been a 15-year hiatus.

Delegates gathered in a friendly fashion with the knowledge that they had the best wishes and full support of the bulk of the population of Mindanao and most of The Philippines behind them.

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No surprise at peace deal rejection

MANILA (AsiaNews): The leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in Mindanao have asked their men to maintain the ceasefire with the government and to honour the peace treaty, even after the law that they fought for years was rejected when the congress failed to approve the Bangsamoro Basic Law that would make the Muslim-majority areas of Mindanao a region with special status.

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What else dies with the peace process?

MARAWI (UCAN): Barely two years after the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal, the war-torn south of the nation continues to face the risk of massive displacement of people.

The failure of the House of Representatives to pass the Bangsamoro Basic Law has dashed the hopes of people who have experienced centuries of armed struggle in defence of their homeland.

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Death by neglect for Peace Process

COTABATO (UCAN): “Hatred, prejudice and bias against Muslims (are responsible) for the death of the Peace Process in Mindanao,” the archbishop of Cotabato, Orlando Cardinal Quevedo, said after too few to form a quorum turned up to the House of Representatives for the vote on the Bangsamoro Basic Law on January 28.

The well orchestrated no-show ploy ensured the Peace Process a death by neglect.

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