President Rodrigo Duterte expected to push for autonomy for Muslim areas of Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte expected to push for autonomy for Muslim areas of Mindanao

Conflict continues between Philippines soldiers and Isis

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to proceed with legislation to give autonomy to predominantly-Muslim areas of the island of Mindanao.

It is hoped that this legislation will help to fight extremism on the island as at least 500 people have been killed in a conflict between Philippines soldiers and Isis.

Thousands of people have also had to move away from the island's capital Marawi due to the fighting, according to RT.

On Monday Reuters reported that the Filipino President said: "This moment is a significant step forward in our quest to end centuries of hatred, mistrust and injustice that cost and affected the lives of millions of Filipinos."

Known as the Bangsamoro Basic Law, it suggests that Muslim-majority areas of Mindanao should have legislative, executive and fiscal autonomy.

It was created in 2014 by the Muslim separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Manila government as part of a peace agreement. It is hoped that the bill will be put in place this year.

Duterte has also asked his congress to extend the state of martial law on the island until the end of the year, as it usually lasts for just 60 days.

Reading from a letter signed by the President, spokesman Ernesto Abella said: "The primary objective of the possible extension is to allow our forces to continue with their operations unhampered by deadlines and to focus more on the liberation of Marawi and its rehabilitation and rebuilding."

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