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.