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“They studied it and scheduled the signing and then they cancel everything. What is that,” said Iqbal. (Google photo)

MANILA — The Philippine government announced Thursday, August 21, it had scrapped a landmark deal with the country’s biggest Muslim group to end the decades-long conflict in the south.“Cancellation of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) is a painful step,” said presidential spokeswoman Lorelei Fajardo, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Manila signed a deal last month with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to establish a Muslim homeland in the revolt-hit southern Mindanao island.

But the deal was halted by the Supreme Court on August 4, over protests from Christian groups.

Fajardo said President Gloria Arroyo was “sensitive” to the objections of local Christian leaders.

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