By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte recently held a meeting with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari to advance the peace process in Mindanao.
The President’s meeting with Misuari was held in Davao City last Friday night, according to Senator Christopher Go. It was the Duterte’s fourth meeting with the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor his year.
Go, who was present in the meeting, said Misuari remained committed to help promote peace in the south. He added that bigger panels from both sides are expected to conduct more meetings on the peace agenda.
“Yung usapan maybe magkakaroon pa ng mag follow-up meetings but between bigger groups na po [The agreement is there will be follow-up meetings but between bigger groups],” Go said in an interview with reporters during the National Heroes Day ceremony in Taguig City Monday.
“Siguro maybe parang panel na ‘yung makikipag-usap on both sides kung papaano patuloy na lang po natin ‘yung kapayapaaan sa Mindanao. tutulong po is Nur Misuari [Maybe panels from both sides will hold talks on how to sustain peace in Mindanao. Nur Misuari will continue to help],” he said.
Early this month, President Duterte said he was praying for the enlightenment of Misuari to accept the “same terms” given to the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The government earlier forged a peace pact with the MILF that paved the way for the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous region. The new political entity, the larger territory and fiscal autonomy, replaces the 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 noted that Misuari mellowed down and is ready to talk peace anytime.
Misuari earlier threatened to go to war if the the government fails to pursue federalism. Duterte eventually agreed to forge their respective five-member panels to further discuss the federalism proposal.
The last meeting between Duterte and Misuari on the peace process was held last July in Malacañang.