Duterte holds 4th talk with Misuari in a year
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday said that representatives from the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will comprise the coordinating committee that President Rodrigo Duterte had created on Friday, after his meeting with MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari in Davao City.
The committee was seen as a venue for cooperation with the rebel group and a step toward achieving peace in Mindanao.
Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, the President’s trusted aide, said the President and Misuari talked about the “possibility of more follow-up meetings, but between bigger groups.”
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo described the meeting — the fourth between the two leaders this year — as “productive,” as both leaders engaged in a fruitful discussion on peace efforts in the region.
In a statement on Tuesday, Panelo said the President had “instructed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity to convene by the second week of September in Davao City for agenda setting and for the start of discussions [with the MNLF].”
Misuari expressed his desire to include the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) “in the consultations, similar to the previous tripartite talks with [the government of the Philippines, or GPH], the MNLF and the OIC, to determine the remaining compliance of the GPH in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF.”
In 1996, the Ramos administration signed a peace deal with the Misuari-led MNLF, with the OIC taking part in the tripartite talks.
That peace agreement led to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), which Misuari led as its governor.
The ARMM, however, was recently replaced by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as a result of the 2014 peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a breakaway faction of the MNLF.
Earlier, the President spoke of “rumblings” in the MNLF following the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law that created the BARMM this year.
The President said he wanted to offer Misuari the “same arrangement” given to the MILF, saying he was “in a hurry” to arrive at a peace deal with the MNLF.
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