Duterte to talk to Misuari ‘to craft something more expansive’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Feb) – President R. Duterte reiterated on Tuesday that he will talk to Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari to “craft something more expansive in his area,” recognizing that agreements with any revolutionary front should take place simultaneously.

The President made the pronouncement just as the 80 members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) prepare for their oath-taking, following the successful ratification of Republic Act 11054 or the Organic Law for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (OLBARMM), the enabling mechanism of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed between the government (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

The BTA will govern the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) until 2022.

“Nur, to his everlasting credit, someday he would be recognized as one statesman above just being – or aside from being a revolutionary warrior. Until now Nur has kept his silence and I have repeatedly stressed that there will be a time when he and I will talk and it should be soon,” Duterte said.

The President graced the 9th Anniversary of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) and 25th Anniversary of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area at the SMX Convention Center here.

He said one of the challenges in the Philippines is having to deal with several rebel fronts.

“And by the grace of Allah, we have reached the agreement desired by the Muslim Maguindanao leadership – Murad, Jaafar and company,” he said.

Duterte added he told the military that he cannot allow peace to move slowly, telling them that they have to work hard to achieve it in the remaining three years of his administration.

“We have to work hard and I think it should be now,” he said.

“Let us try to see if we can craft something more expansive in his area and giving concessions to the Moro which is really the correct thing, and also reconfigure the territories,” Duterte said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)