MANILA, Philippines – 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.