Philippines proposes monuments to decades-long Muslim insurgency

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, June 10 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine negotiators hoping to end a Muslim insurgency have proposed creating monuments to abuses committed on both sides, including beheadings by rebels and a president's desecration of an insurgent headquarters with a pork feast.

The monuments should help tell the full story of the decades-long Muslim rebellion in the country's south and remind future generations of the brutality and blunders that helped perpetuate the violence, chief government negotiator Marvic Leonen said.

"We have seen that future generations would not move on and heal unless we really tell the story," Leonen said.

Rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal said the proposal was acceptable, but that the government should first focus on resolving the rebellion, which has caused massive deaths and displacement of villagers, while stunting economic growth in the resource-rich region.

The Philippine government and the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front remain optimistic a peace pact can be reached under reformist President Benigno Aquino III's term despite key differences that have stalled Malaysian-brokered negotiations.