The Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group has praised the mayor of a small town for supporting the peace process in the restive region of Mindanao. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) praised Mayor Zahara Upam Ampatuan, of Shariff Aguak town in Maguindanao, one of five provinces under the Muslim autonomous region, for her peace advocacy and cited her efforts to bring peace not only in the province, but the region as well. The rebel group, which is currently negotiating peace with Manila, surprised the mayor with two awards that coincided with the 18th anniversary of the town. The awards were handed to the mayor by Ustadz Abdulwahid Tundok, a senior MILF leader who is now campaigning for peace in Mindanao. The awarding was also witnessed by military and police officials.