President Duterte is set to meet Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari in Davao soon to advance the peace process in Mindanao.
The President said Misuari, former governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, would be given safe passage when he comes out of hiding for their meeting.
“Nur Misuari is scheduled to get out of his camp, bigyan ko lang siya ng conduct pass. He will go to Davao, we will talk,” the President said during his remarks at the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City.
Duterte first announced his intention to meet the fugitive leader in his first weeks in office but such meeting did not push through. Misuari has long been wanted by authorities for his alleged involvement in the deadly Zamboanga City siege in 2013.
Last month, the President said he was willing to meet Misuari in any place, including Malaysia, the rebel leader’s preferred venue, to promote peace and prevent bloodshed in Mindanao.
Duterte said he told Misuari via phone that the police have been directed not to enforce a pending arrest warrant against him.
In refusing to arrest the MNLF leader, Duterte explained he wanted to avoid a situation in which Misuari might die while under government custody. “He’s the only known leader who has the influence and the structure. Nobody else,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)