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Duterte prays for Nur Misuari’s enlightenment, to offer ‘same terms’ given to MILF

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By Genalyn Kabiling

In a bid to promote peace in the restive south, President Duterte said he is praying for the enlightenment of Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) founding chair Nur Misuari to accept the “same terms” given to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte witnesses the program proper during the launch of the 911Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) at the TESDA Complex in Taguig City on July 30, 2019. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The President made the statement after observing some “sparks” that might derail the implementation of the new Bangsamoro autonomous region.

“As it is ‘yung Bangsamoro Law, there are already a sort of medyo sparks there that would tend to maybe derail the smooth transition for the Bangsamoro people. That is territorial, ‘yung kay Murad (Ebrahim), MILF. Meron tayong MNLF that is the Sulu up to Tawi-Tawi area, Basilan,” Duterte said during the oath-taking of newly appointed officials in Malacañang Monday.

“I am praying to God that Nur Misuari will be enlightened and will be able to accept maybe the same terms that we have extended to Murad. That is the only way really without a breakage in our society,” he said.

The creation of the Bangsamoro region is part of the peace agreement forged by the government with the MILF in 2014 to end its armed rebellion. The new entity, with larger territory and fiscal autonomy, replaces the old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) formed under a peace pact with the Misuari-led MNLF in 1996.

The President earlier said he would offer Misuari the “same structure of government with the same concession.” He added that the former ARMM governor has mellowed down and is ready to talk peace anytime.

“Maybe in God’s own time, he will realize and I’m ready also to offer to him the same — well, the same structure of government with the same concession,” Duterte said recently.

Misuari earlier threatened to go to war if the government fails to pursue federalism. He and Duterte eventually agreed to forge their respective five-member panels to further discuss the federalism proposal.

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