With President Benigno Aquino pushing the Philippine Congress today to pass a bill that would establish an autonomous Muslim region in the country, the Southeast Asian nation could be closer to taking the next step in shutting down a rebellion that has left more than 120,000 people dead.

President Aquino called on lawmakers to quickly push the bill through to create the autonomous region, which would be called the Bangsamoro area, and would encompass the island of Mindanao. This development comes on the heels of successful negotiations that took place in March, and after over 40 years of conflict between Muslim rebels in the predominantly Roman Catholic country.

“We ask Congress … to pass this bill in the soonest possible time,” Aquino said on Wednesday.

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