It is no secret that the United States played a major role in the drafting and negotiation of that ill-fated 2008 GRP-MILF Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) through high level consultants in the United States Institute of Peace. We should recall that standing by in Petrajaya, Malaysia last year for the signing of the MOA-AD was no less than Ambassador Kristie Kenney herself. It was a diplomatic embarrassment, therefore, when the Philippine Supreme Court later rejected and invalidated that MOA-AD as brazenly unconstitutional in its landmark decision, North Cotabato v. GRP Peace Panel.
However, in her remarks at the University of Santo Tomas, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the error of that MOA-AD fiasco, reaffirming the position that whatever political arrangement is ever arrived at between the Govt and the MILF, such arrangements cannot violate the Philippine constitutional and legal framework. Secretary Clinton also intimated that a "fresh approach" will mark the resumption of peace talks with the MILF next week.
I was quite relieved to hear the US Secretary of State say this. For a while I thought they had lost their marbles over there.