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Nur backs campaign vs drugs

By: Genalyn D. Kabiling

President Duterte has obtained the support of Moro National Liberation Front chairperson Nur Misuari in the government’s battle against illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism in Mindanao.

Misuari also pledged to peacefully participate in efforts to bring lasting peace in conflict-torn Mindanao during a closed-door meeting with the President in Malacañang last Thursday.

“The latest in a series of meetings with the MNLF leader, the President continues to forge a strong alliance with Chairman Misuari for their cooperation in the administration’s war against illegal drugs, criminality, and terrorism in Mindanao,” a statement from the Presidential Communications Operations Office said.

The meeting between Duterte and Misuari came amid government efforts to crush a rebellion by Islamic State-linked militants in Marawi City. Martial law has been declared in Mindanao until the end of the year to completely quell the threat of rebellion.

A short video of the President’s meeting with Misuari, his wife Tarhata, son Abdulkarim, and other MNLF officials was released by Malacañang yesterday. Duterte was seen embracing Misuari like a brother at the start of the meeting.

Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra later disclosed that the President’s meeting with Misuari also tackled the Mindanao peace process.