Duterte to meet Misuari in Davao City on week of Oct 10

Pia Ranada
Duterte to meet Misuari in Davao City on week of Oct 10
The President says the MNLF leader is 'coming out of his lair in Jolo' and will be 'escorted to Davao' for them to talk

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he is planning to meet Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari in Davao City on the week of October 10.

“Si Nur, next week he is coming out of his lair in Jolo and I will have him escorted sa Davao and we will talk,” said Duterte on Friday, October 7, during a speech at the Mentor Me Program launch in Davao City.

Duterte has said he has instructed law enforcers not to arrest Misuari though he has been charged for inciting rebellion and crimes against humanity.

The 77-year-old Moro separatist leader had a key role in the Zamboanga siege that claimed nearly 200 casualties and displaced thousands of families.

But Duterte believes the Mindanao peace process can only move forward if he involves Misuari and the MNLF aside from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Duterte flew to Jolo supposedly to meet Misuari or his envoy last August 12 but Misuari was a no-show.

The MILF and the Duterte government have resumed peace talks and are working on a new bill to replace the Bangsamoro Basic Law that failed to pass in the last Congress.

Misuari recently helped facilitate the release of Norwegian hostage Kjartan Sekkingstand and Indonesian hostages from the Abu Sayyaf. A Rappler report, however, shows he earned from the release as well. (READ: Duterte: Misuari has lost control over young Moros)

Peace in Mindanao was among Duterte’s major campaign promises in the 2016 elections.

Supposedly to ensure the progress of peace talks, he has said he might order US troops out of Mindanao to diffuse tension among Moro groups who don’t want the troops in the region. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.