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Gov’t unsure of Misuari’s part in Bangsamoro transition

But MNLF chair’s participation seen as ‘very good sign’

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By Antonio Colina IV

While Nur Misuari’s optimism to take part in the Bangsamoro peace process is seen as a “very good sign” in achieving peace in Mindanao, the government is unsure whether the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair will have a seat in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC).

PEACE HUG – President Duterte and MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari embrace before their meeting in Malacañang Thursday. Misuari assured the President of his support for the peace process in Mindanao. (AFP | Manila Bulletin)

PEACE HUG – President Duterte and MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari embrace before their meeting in Malacañang Thursday. Misuari assured the President of his support for the peace process in Mindanao. (AFP | Manila Bulletin)

“I don’t know. I am not at liberty to give the names of the BTC,” government (GPH) implementing peace panel chair Irene “Inday” Santiago told a press conference on Friday, November 4, in Davao City.

Nonetheless, Santiago said: “I think it was very good sign, very good sign. He is willing to do anything in the peace process [under the] Duterte leadership, we will see what kind of process is possible so we will continue the conversation conversations among us.”

Santiago said that the GPH and the MILF have agreed for a convergence in the peace process, even conceding three seats to the group of Muslimin Sema, who chairs one of the MNLF factions, in the BTC as part of the GPH appointees.

Santiago said on September 21 during the Davao Peace Fair 2016 that Misuari was hesitant to join the BTC because it is an “MILF structure.”

The executive order on the BTC will be signed on Monday, November 7 at Malacañang.

As an independent body, the BTC is tasked to consolidate all peace agreements and legislation into one enabling law on the Bangsamoro, call for an inclusive Bangsamoro Consultative Assembly to discuss the new draft of the enabling law, and submit to Congress the new version of the enabling law not later than July 27, 2017.

Judge Ma. Rowena Modesto-San Pedro of the Pasig Regional Trial Court in Pasig City ruled to suspend the arrest warrant against Misuari—issued for his alleged masterminding of the Zamboanga Siege in 2013—for a period of six months starting October 27 “unless sooner lifted by the court.”

Misuari met President Rodrigo Duterte at Malacañang on Thursday after presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza flew him in from Jolo, Sulu after he received the suspension of the warrant on November 2.

 

 

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