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DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo R. Duterte is about to walk the talk now that he is set to meet Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari anytime this week.
The past weeks, Duterte has been vocal about meeting Misuari, one of Mindanao’s high-profile leaders who has been involved in insurgency issues in this region.
That plan is about to become a reality now that a date has been seemingly set for the historic engagement.
“Misuari is getting out of Jolo next (this) week, and we’ll begin the talks,” Duterte said Friday.
The president also reiterated the need to address the armed conflicts in Mindanao stemming from the historical injustices committed by American and Spanish colonizers against the Moro people.
“Iyong Islam naman was already thriving here in Mindanao. As a matter of fact, Islam was 100 percent dito sa Mindanao because Mindanao was really part – you go to the archives of Malaysia and itong sa Indonesia, there’s a part there about the Philippines and how the missionaries came here,” he said.
Duterte said he leaves it to leaders of different MNLF factions – Misuari, Muslimin Sema and Abul Khayr Alonto, who is chair of the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) – on how to “fix internal dynamics.”
During Davao Peace Fair at the SM Ecoland last month, Government (GPH) peace implementing panel chair Irene “Inday” Santiago said the group of Sema will get two to three seats in the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to be nominated by the government.
She said that they are thinking of “creative ways” to converge the all Moro groups in the peace negotiation as pointed out by the President himself that all Moro people must be given the voice to ensure inclusivity in the peace process.