Misuari a no-show; Duterte visits troops | Inquirer News
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Misuari a no-show; Duterte visits troops

/ 04:35 AM August 14, 2016

JOLO, Sulu—Wanted Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chair Nur Misuari has remained in hiding and did not meet with visiting President Duterte, who instead confined himself to the military camp here for a closed-door command conference with the troops.
Expectations had been high the President would be personally talking to Misuari after he previously made announcements about it. But 77-year-old MNLF leader failed to show up, nor did he send emissaries.

But in a chance interview on Friday, the President said he would still be talking to Misuari after presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza meets with the disgruntled Muslim leader.

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Misuari is wanted for a December 2013 siege that left 200 dead and thousands displaced in nearby Zamboanga City.

“I will speak to Nur Misuari, for sure. Because after the panel meetings, it goes up to us. We will be talking by then and I’ll be asking him “Are we OK now, friend?” Mr. Duterte told reporters.

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He said that based on current developments, he expected to meet with Misuari next year.

“Better talk and have peace than continue war. We cannot continue rebellion,” Mr. Duterte said, when asked if he would meet with Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar to convince her to drop the charges against Misuari.

City filed charges

It was the city government of Zamboanga that led in the filing of rebellion and crimes against humanity charges against Misuari for the siege, which was carried out by his supporters to derail a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had split from the MNLF in the 1970s.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said Mr. Duterte’s visit here was part of his tour of military camps to boost troop morale. Since taking office, Mr. Duterte has visited around 10 military camps across the country.

“He wants them to feel the presence of their commander in chief. So he’s being a father visiting his children so they would not feel they are being taken for granted. That is the mark of a compassionate commander in chief,” Andanar said.

“He is moving around the camps to see the real situation of our troops, the hospital equipment,” he said.

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He said Mr. Duterte’s way was to speak directly to the troops and personally deliver his directives to them. TVJ

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TAGS: MNLF, Nur Misuari, peace process, Rodrigo Duterte
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