MNLF prepares for Digong visit in Sulu turf of Nur Misuari
ZAMBOANGA CITY—The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is now preparing the venue in Sulu province, where incoming President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte and Moro leader Nur Misuari are expected to meet, a senior MNLF official said.
Duterte and Misuari are known to be close friends.
Dr. Samsula Adju, designated MNLF spokesperson, said the exact time and date of the meeting had not been set. The location of the meeting would be kept under wraps, said Adju.
“Duterte is coming over to Sulu,” Adju said in a phone interview.
On Wednesday, Duterte said he planned to visit Misuari in his hideout in the jungles of Sulu.
Duterte said he hoped to clarify with Misuari, who is now wanted for alleged involvement in the 2013 Zamboanga siege, a misunderstanding over his failure to meet with an MNLF delegation that came to Davao City on May 16 to meet the incoming ruler.
The MNLF delegation, headed by Rev. Absalom Cerveza, earlier said some people around Duterte blocked the delegation’s request to meet the mayor.
“You said you were snubbed, but believe me, I don’t do that. I was there for 21 hours,” Duterte said, addressing the MNLF.
Duterte said he was also considering whether or not to convince Misuari to surrender.
Among the subjects that Duterte said he planned to discuss with Misuari was the terror group Abu Sayyaf.
“Those involved in criminality will have to answer,” Duterte said.
Adju said the MNLF was committed to support Duterte in ridding Sulu, Basilan and other provinces of kidnappers.
“And right now, we are talking with authorities about how to go about it, how to realize this plan,” said Adju.
But he made it clear that the MNLF had no plans to get involved in an armed confrontation with the Abu Sayyaf.
“It will not be in a violent or bloody way, it will be (through) dialogue, negotiation and Islamic persuasion,” said Adju.
An armed confrontation, he said, “is not necessary.”
“It’s haram for one Muslim to fight another Muslim,” he added.
He said MNLF was also “trying to reach out to (Abu Sayyaf) commanders and subleaders” in the hope of securing the release of at least 15 kidnap victims who were still held by the group.
“Everyone (has to be freed). Maas Misuari will negotiate for the release of all the hostages,” said Adju. Julie Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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