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No separate deal with Nur – Palace

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Thursday said the Duterte administration would make no separate agreement with any party that may affect the integrity of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in governing the new autonomous region in Mindanao.

Medialdea made the statement in reaction to President Duterte’s statement that he had asked two Cabinet secretaries to craft a “new deal” between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by its founding chair Nur Misuari.

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“It’s not a deal. It’s more of a ‘Let us talk here so we can help each other,’” Medialdea said.

The President wanted to help find ways to “attain unlimited peace” in Mindanao, he added.

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For MNLF of Misuari

In a speech to a national assembly of mayors at the Manila Hotel on Tuesday night, Duterte said he told Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Interior Secretary Eduardo Año that “it’s time for us to craft a new deal for the MNLF of Misuari.”

The President said he had tasked Lorenzana and Año with crafting the new agreement after meeting with Misuari in Malacañang on Monday.

“Nur said he is willing to talk, and he has waited this long for me to make a decisive decision … ” Duterte said without saying what the new agreement would include.

Medialdea said he did not know about the deal being planned by Lorenzana and Año.

The President has already appointed 76 members of the BTA, which will govern the Bangsa-moro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao until the first elections are held in 2022.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front controls 41 seats in the 80-member BTA.

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TAGS: Año, Bangsamoro Transition Authority, BTA, duterte, Lorenzana, MNLF, Nur Misuari, Salvador Medialdea, separate deal
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