By Windsor Genova

Manila, Philippines

The presidential palace confirmed that Muslim rebel leaders proposed to President Benigno Aquino III the creation of a Muslim substate in the Philippines during their unannounced meeting in Tokyo, Japan.

Aquino's spokesman, Edwin Lacierda, told reporters that the Office of the President will come up with its own proposal to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on August 22.

The MILF's website disclosed that the group proposed the Muslim substate in Thursday's meeting between its chairman Al Haj Murad and Aquino.

In the editorial posting, the rebels described the substate as still part of the Philippines, similar to states in a federation and will have exclusive jurisdiction over its legislature, courts, police and security.

"This entity is not an independent state. The powers over national defense, foreign relations, coinage and currency, and postal services are still the sole jurisdiction of the central government," according to the posting in

The MILF and the Philippine government are currently engaged in peace talks.

Muslim rebels have been fighting for self-determination in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao.

Opposition to a Muslim substate still lingers because it is against the Constitution.


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World - Muslim Rebels Seek Substate In Philippines | Global Viewpoint