Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (M) and representatives of MILF hold the draft “Basic Bangsamoro Law” at an event in Manila (Photo: AFP/VNA)
 

Hanoi (VNA) – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on July 17 vowed to push a law establishing an autonomous region on the southern island of Mindanao.

The announcement was made after the draft “Basic Bangsamoro Law” was submitted to the government by government officials and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

According to the draft, the Muslim majority region on Mindanao will become a self-ruled area named Bangsomoro.

President Duterte affirmed that it is a turning point to end a decades-long insurgency that has claimed more than 100,000 lives on Mindanao.

He also hoped the creation of the autonomous region will help eliminate the Islamic State-linked Maute militant group which controls some areas in Marawi city on Mindanao island.

The chief government peace negotiator, Irene Santiago, said Manila expected the bill's passage within a year, scheduled for the first quarter of 2018. After that, a referendum will have to be held in the provinces included in the autonomous area, she said.-VNA