World

Filipino Muslim rebels reject changes in proposed autonomy law, anxious over peace pact delays

  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, center, Teresita Deles, left, presidential adviser on the peace process, and Amir Ahmad of the Malaysian Embassy watch a video presentation during a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal, center, Teresita Deles, left, presidential adviser on the peace process, and Amir Ahmad of the Malaysian Embassy watch a video presentation during a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, arrive for a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. Iqbal said changes being introduced in a proposed Muslim autonomy law under a peace deal are unacceptable but adds that the insurgents would continue to appeal to lawmakers to pass a legislation that can help end a decades-old rebellion in the country's south. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture an Indonesia terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal and Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, arrive for a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) that would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. Iqbal said changes being introduced in a proposed Muslim autonomy law under a peace deal are unacceptable but adds that the insurgents would continue to appeal to lawmakers to pass a legislation that can help end a decades-old rebellion in the country's south. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture an Indonesia terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal gestures during a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. The rebel leader said changes being introduced in the proposed Muslim autonomy law under a peace deal are unacceptable but adds that the insurgents would continue to appeal to lawmakers to pass a legislation that can help end a decades-old rebellion in the country's south. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. At left is Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace negotiator Mohagher Iqbal gestures during a forum with foreign correspondents based in the Philippines, on the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) which would pave the way for the creation of a new autonomous political entity that would replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in southern Philippines, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 at suburban Mandaluyong city, east of Manila. The rebel leader said changes being introduced in the proposed Muslim autonomy law under a peace deal are unacceptable but adds that the insurgents would continue to appeal to lawmakers to pass a legislation that can help end a decades-old rebellion in the country's south. The passage of the BBL was marred by a Jan. 25 incident that saw the killings of 44 elite police commandos by Muslim rebels in an operation to capture terrorist Zulkipli bin Hir, also known as "Marwan" inside an MILF territory. At left is Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

A Philippine rebel leader says changes being introduced in a proposed Muslim autonomy law under a peace deal are unacceptable.

But Mohagher Iqbal says the insurgents will continue to appeal to lawmakers to pass legislation that can help end a decades-old rebellion in the country's south.

Iqbal, head of the 11,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front, said Friday that delays in the autonomy bill's passage have made the insurgents anxious. He says however rebel leaders remain "in control of the situation" and are updating commanders on progress in efforts to enforce the peace deal, which was signed last year.

A police anti-terror assault led to the killing of 44 commandos in Jan. 25 clashes that involved some of the rebels, causing delays in the passage of the autonomy bill.