MANILA

Duterte 'happy' with impending talk with Nur Misuari

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte was elated Monday, February 25, that Nur Misuari, founder of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), is "going out," following the Chief Executive's call for a dialogue aimed at promoting peace and order in Mindanao.

Speaking before village officials in Pasay City, Duterte said he was "happy" that Misuari had expressed commitment to participate in the peace process.

Duterte said he already directed the state forces to ensure that Misuari would enjoy liberty, as the Moro leader decided to talk to him.

"Sabi namin noon (We tell them earlier to) come and join. But Misuari is going out. and I have ordered the military and the police -- kasi may kaso siya (because he's facing charges) -- allow him to [join the peace process]... He will come back," he said in his speech.

"Si Misuari is going out again and he has a case. Sabi ko hayaaan niyo (I said let him be)," he added.

Duterte has repeatedly expressed his intention to talk to Misuari after the ratification of the landmark Bangsamoro Organic Law in a bid to forge a peace deal with the MNLF.

Misuari went into hiding following the 2013 Zamboanga siege, but has been granted temporary liberty by Duterte when the latter came to power in 2016.

The MNLF founder was ordered arrested for graft charges in September 2017, but also posted bail to enjoy temporary freedom.

The President wanted to talk to Misuari in an effort to achieve a peaceful Mindanao.

He said he was "happy" that Misuari had decided to reach out to him.

"So we have to resolve this problem. I am happy that we have development," he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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