World

Peace for autonomy: Philippine president submits bill that aims to end Muslim rebellion

  • Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, claps as Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, left, shakes hands with Senate President Franklin Drilon, right, as he turnover the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.  The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, claps as Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, left, shakes hands with Senate President Franklin Drilon, right, as he turnover the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, 3rd from left, applauds as Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, 2nd left, turnovers the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to Senate President Franklin Drilon, 3rd from right, during ceremonies at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.  The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, 3rd from left, applauds as Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, 2nd left, turnovers the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to Senate President Franklin Drilon, 3rd from right, during ceremonies at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, watches Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, 2nd left, and Presidential adviser on the peace process, Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, left, turning over the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, right, and Senate President Franklin Drilon, partly hidden, during ceremonies at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014.  The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, center, watches Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, 2nd left, and Presidential adviser on the peace process, Secretary Teresita Quintos-Deles, left, turning over the Draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law to House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, right, and Senate President Franklin Drilon, partly hidden, during ceremonies at the Malacanang Presidential Palace in Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The Bangsamoro Basic Law is part of government efforts to end the decades-old conflict in southern Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine president has submitted a draft law to Congress that aims to execute a bold plan: End a four-decade rebellion by Muslims in the south by granting them an autonomous region that will have its own government and police force.

Wednesday's proposal fleshes out a peace agreement signed in March between the government and the largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which has been fighting for decades.

Some 150,000 combatants and civilians have been killed in the insurgency since the 1970s.

If passed, the legislation would give people in the autonomous zone, to be called Bangsamoro, more control over their future. The government has also promised to pour development funds into the poor region.

But smaller Islamic groups oppose the deal and have vowed to fight it.