(From AFP)

Philippine lawmakers failed Wednesday to pass a crucial bill aimed at ending a decades-long Muslim insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, igniting fears of fresh violence.

The separatist conflict on the southern island of Mindanao has killed more than 120,000 people and displaced two million

President Benigno Aquino, whose six-year term ends in June, had lobbied hard for the passage of the bill, which would have granted the nation’s Muslim minority an autonomous southern homeland.

However, he was unable to muster enough support in the lower house of Congress to secure a vote by Wednesday, the final day of parliament before it adjourns ahead of national elections in May.

Failure to pass the bill means it can not be passed under Aquino, who is limited by the constitution to a single term, with no certainty over whether his successor will even pursue a peace deal. Read More

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