After Benigno Aquino was elected president in 2010, he initiated peace talks with MILF. On Oct. 7, 2012, an agreement was reached in Malaysia, providing for a new autonomous political region called the Bangsamoro, meaning the “Nation of Moro.”
Claiming that the new peace accord violated the 1996 deal, MNLF leader Nur Misuari asserted the independence of a larger swathe of historically Muslim territory on Aug. 12, 2013. Less than a month later, the current clashes in Zamboanga were set off by MNLF-rebels close to Misuari. In a phone call with Zamboanga’s Mayor, however, Misuari has disowned the commander in charge of the attack.