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Muslim rebel commanders in S. Philippines become officials under peace deal

Some of the rebel commanders in the southern Philippines were in Manila on Friday to be sworn in as administrators of a new Muslim autonomy region in a milestone to settle one of Asia’s longest-raging rebellions. President Rodrigo Duterte was to lead a ceremony to name Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader Murad Embrahim and some of his top commanders among 80 administrators in a transition government for the five-province region to be called Bangsamoro. About 12,000 combatants with thousands of firearms are expected to be demobilized starting this year under the peace deal. Thousands of other guerrillas would disarm if agreements under the deal are followed, including providing the insurgents with livelihoods to help them return to normal life, AP reported.