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This Land is Our Land: Moro Ancestral Domain and Its Implications for Peace and Development in the Southern Philippines

This paper examines land in Mindanao as both a root of conflict and a key to potential, long-term conflict resolution. It reviews the history of Moro land ownership and political dominance in the sultanates of Maguindanao and Sulu, which pre-dated Spanish and U.S. colonial rule. It looks at the Moro conflict with the Philippine government as a response to Moro land loss and marginalization, and reviews the failure of various peace agreements to resolve Moro grievances. Finally, the paper analyzes current negotiations between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government (GRP) on ancestral domain, and examines how ancestral domain could promote long-term peace and development in Mindanao.