The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is now seeking the creation of a “sub-state” for the Bangsamoro people instead of full independence, an official of the rebel group said Monday, ahead of another round of talks with the government.

“In this negotiation we are not demanding for an independent state, what we want is a Bangsamoro state still under the government of the Republic of the Philippines,” Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chairman for political affairs, told reporters by phone.

Jaafar made the remark as government and MILF negotiators gear up for another round of talks, scheduled on August 22 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Under the MILF proposal, the Bangsamoro state will adopt a parliamentary-style government headed by a “chief minister” assisted by ministers for finance, education, highways, and natural resources, among others, Jaafar said.

“Now we are opting for full autonomy, not the kind of autonomy which is being implemented through the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, we do not like this kind of autonomy… this is a fake autonomy, there is no power,” he said.

Power, Jaafar said, meant that the Bangsamoro people will be given a greater portion of revenue from mineral and natural resources obtained in the proposed sub-state.

“‘Yung exploration ng mga mineral resources namin sa Bangsamoro homeland magiging 20 to 30 percent ang kaparte ng national government, kami ang magbigay sa national government instead of we begging,” he said. (John Roson)

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