Once in a while, there is a glint of optimism in Muslim Mindanao, on the Philippines’ wildest island, a region long torn by sectarian violence and dominated by warlords. So it was when cars honked in the night in Cotabato City for victory in a plebiscite for a greater autonomous region that has been almost two decades in the making. A strong 59 percent of voters opted to join the new Bangsamoro entity against 41 percent who voted no.
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