THE founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front on Sunday endorsed the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
At a peace summit in Kidapawan City, Cotabato, MNLF founding chairman Nur P. Misuari, called on more than 500 participants to vote for Duterte.
“Let us not be afraid to vote for our brethren Rodrigo Duterte. He is the MNLF’s candidate,” he told the participants.
Duterte could be the last hope for peace in Mindanao, he said.
The mayor was the only candidate who was very vocal about pursuing peace talks, he added.
Kautin Usman, MNLF chief of staff in Central Mindanao, said he was taken aback by Misuari’s announcement because the non-partisan organization has never endorsed any presidential candidate before.
“I was speechless . The MNLF has not endorsed any candidate but this time it was chairman Misuari announcing it in front of us,” he said.
He said the MNLF’s final decision will be known when they meet on March 13 but he believed the MNLF could deliver a solid bloc of votes to any candidate.
Speaking on a mobile phone, Misuari addressed the summit participants from an undisclosed place. The MNLF founding chairman is wanted by the government for leading the Zamboanga City siege in September 2013, which led to the death of more than 100 rebels, 11 civilians, nine soldiers and five policemen.
Duterte on Sunday said even though he advocates strong leadership, his administration would not be “undemocratic.”
The mayor said he was not bothered by suggestions that he would become a dictator, but assured a crowd of local treasurers and assessors in Pasay City that there would not be a repeat of martial law if he were elected.
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