The Daily Manila Shimbun


Duterte’s meeting with Misuari a reaffirmation of importance of peace in Mindanao: Abella

March 28, 2017

President Rodrigo Duterte held a meeting with Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, and discussed peace effort for Mindanao.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the "close-in meeting" took place in Davao City on Monday.

"Basically, it was a reaffirmation of the importance of securing just and lasting peace and development for Mindanao," he said.

He described the meeting as "warm, cordial, positive."

This was the second time Duterte met Misuari since the latter came out from hiding in November last year.

Misuari is facing charges for allegedly masterminding the Zamboanga siege in September 2013. His followers attacked Zamboanga City for three weeks, leaving more than 100 people dead and displacing thousands.

When Duterte assumed office in June, he said he would seek Misuari's support in the peace process in Mindanao as he ordered the police and the military not to arrest the then fugitive MNLF leader.

The Duterte administration filed a motion before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court to suspend the warrant of arrest against Misuari, which the court granted.

The arrest warrant was lifted for six months in order for Misuari to participate in the peace process.

Misuari refused to join with the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front in dealing peace with the government. He wants to deal with the Duterte administration separately.

Duterte has created an expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission, led by the MILF, in coming out with a new draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law for conflict affected areas in Mindanao. Celerina Monte/DMS