President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated his plan to enlist Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, as an important negotiator for the peace talks between the government and the Moros, according to Malacañang.
“There was no exact date mentioned on the meeting between President Duterte and MNLF Leader Nur Misuari,” said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, chief of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), during an interview over state-run radio station dzRB.
“But we assure you the talks [between Duterte and Misuari] will happen just as the talks with the MILF and with the NDF will happen,” Andanar said.
Duterte said the government is now ready to talk simultaneously with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front, as he plans to go to Jolo to talk to Misuari.
Misuari is currently at large and is facing an arrest warrant for rebellion in connection with the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
If the talks with the MILF and MNLF materialize, the President said on Friday that he expected a framework for federalism to be drafted by the end of the year.
MILF and MNLF leaders met with Duterte last month to discuss peace in Mindanao.
Duterte said there would be reconfiguration of territories—and many MILF and MNLF members would occupy regional and state positions.
If Filipinos reject federalism in the plebiscite, he said he would push for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
Duterte said that what the MILF would get, the same would be given to the MNLF.
As for the Abu Sayaff Group, Duterte said he did not consider their actions criminal.
He believed they were radicalized because they were driven to desperation due to the lack of governance in Mindanao.
Duterte was at the Hari Raya Eid’l Fitr event in his hometown a day after his son, acting Davao City Mayor Mayor Paolo Duterte, said the city was facing threats from international terrorist group, ISIS.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has since downplayed the ISIS presence in in the country.
But the PNP admitted that the younger Duterte’s statement was taken into consideration when they secured the venue for the Hariraya activity.
Security measures at the SM Lanang and surrounding areas were tight ― with over 300 policemen, 249 soldiers from Task Force Davao, and more than a hundred Presidential Security Group members.