In Philippines, Aquino’s Peace Drive Stuck in First Gear

In Philippines, Aquino’s Peace Drive Stuck in First Gear

One year after taking office in July 2010, Philippine President Benigno Aquino's effort to end the country's decades-long internal conflicts is still stuck in first gear.

Aquino has put the highest premium on reaching a political settlement with the Muslim Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and making inroads with the Maoist front led by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) -- while not forgetting the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), another Muslim rebel group that signed a final, yet shaky, peace agreement in 1996.

In fairness, Aquino has made progress. But doubts remain about whether the steps he has taken amount to an exercise in conflict-management or a real attempt to achieve lasting peace.

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