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Peace talks with MILF, MNLF to continue

By ZEA CAPISTRANO

DAVAO CITY – President Duterte said the government remains committed in its pursuit to talk with Muslim insurgents in Mindanao hoping to come up with a lasting solution to establishing peace in the region.

“We continue to hang on to the talks because we believe historically they are deprived and that is why we continue to talk to Murad and Nur,” Duterte told reporters here on Friday.

Duterte was referring to Moro Islamic Liberation Front chairman Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim and Moro National Liberation Front founder Nur Misuari.

The President met with the members of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) on Sept. 14 in Malacañang. He also met with Misuari on Sept. 16 in Davao.

The 21-member BTC was tasked to create the Bangsamoro Basic Law, to give way for the Bangsamoro as replacement for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“I said nobody wins just like in Marawi, wala tayong panalo doon puro Pilipino ‘yun,” he said.

Duterte lay blame on “alien ideology” brought by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria for the spread of terrorism in Mindanao.

Meanwhile, the president appealed to members of the New People’s Army (NPA) to lay down its arms and surrender, promising to give them general amnesty with the approval of Congress.

“Bumaba kayo para wala nang away,” he said. “Ito walang harassment, hindi ako mag-account kung ilan ang pinatay ninyo.”

Duterte even vowed to help surrendering NPA guerillas start anew, providing them housing and jobs in government.
He stressed, “Ano pang gawin niyo sa buhay? Magtakbo? Magpaputok? Mamatay? Pati gutom? Sakit?”

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