PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte said he would be spending 10 days in Mindanao to focus on building the framework for the Bangsamoro peace process, including the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.
At the same time, Duterte ordered Peace Process Adviser Jesus Dureza to head to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, within the net two weeks to relaunch peace talks with the MILF.
“I have to fix the Mindanao issue. I will look at the framework. I have to travel to Cotabato… and I will travel to Jolo to talk to [MNLF founding chairman]
Nur [Misuari],” the President said during a media briefing on Monday.
“I told the military and the police, you might want to consider letting them out just for a day,” Duterte said, referring to Misuari, who faces arrest for the 2013 Zamboanga siege.
Palace sources told the Manila Standard that Duterte will be flying to Mindanao on Thursday to talk with the Moro rebels and to speed up work on a framework for peace.
In a television interview, Dureza confirmed that the President ordered him to relaunch talks with the Moro rebels.
“He has already directed our government panel, my office, to go to Kuala Lumpur within the next two weeks,” Dureza said.
“We’re preparing already for that particular trip. We still have to make a lot of preparations along that line. But yes, it’s not just the CPP-NPA-NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front] that we need to deal with. We’ll work on another very important meeting in KL with government and the Bangsamoro sector,” he added.
On Sunday, the MILF and MNLF agreed to “harmonize” their respective peace deals with the government to come up with a common stand and streamline efforts that could lead to lasting peace in Mindanao.
Technical working groups of the MILF and MNLF met in Cotabato City over the weekend to review the provisions of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) of 2014 in relation to the Final Peace Agreement (FPA) of 1996 and the Tripoli Accord of 1976.
The MILF group was led by professor Abhoud Syed Linnga, while the MNLF team was headed by Vice Chairman Hatimil Hassan.
Muslimin Sema, who heads the largest faction of the MNLF, said the meeting fleshed out the joint communiqué he forged with MILF Chairman Hadji Murad Ebrahim on July 29 to harmonize the salient provisions of the CAB and the FPA into a concrete document that may guide the Duterte administration in addressing the “historical injustice” among the Moro people.
During Monday’s media forum, Duterte reiterated that he is willing to give Misuari a safe conduct pass for the talks.
“When you talk to the rebel, you have to give them a safe conduct pass, or at least a sense of security to face you and talk to you about what’s bugging the country,” he said.
“If I won’t talk, how do I fix this thing? Once the talk starts, I will give everybody a safe conduct pass,” he added.
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