Duterte, Misuari Hold Talks On Federalism

Duterte, Misuari Hold Talks On Federalism


President Duterte met anew with Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chair Nur Misuari in Davao City to discuss the proposed federalism and other Bangsamoro concerns.

The latest meeting between the President and Misuari took place last Saturday despite a standing arrest warrant issued by the Sandiganbayan against the former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor in connection with the alleged textbook scam.

Misuari reiterated the MNLF’s offer to help in the campaign against violent extremism in the south.

MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari and President Rodrigo Duterte. (ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO)

“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and Presidential Peace Adviser Secretary Jesus Dureza meet with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Chairman Nur Misuari in Davao City to discuss Bangsamoro concerns,” the Office of the Presidential Peace Adviser said in a Facebook post last Saturday.

“They are joined by Tarhata Misuari and MNLF Peace Implementing Panel Chairman Atty. Randolph Parcasio,” it added.

Dureza said Misuari has decided to no longer provide inputs to the proposed measure that aims to create a Bangsamoro region replacing the ARMM. Instead, Misuari prefers to support efforts to pave the way for a federal form of government in the country.

Misuari, who led the MNLF in forging a peace agreement with the then Ramos administration, was supposed to submit an amendatory law to enhance the ARMM.

His MNLF faction was not part of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission that drafted the BBL endorsed by the President to Congress. The draft BBL aims to be the legal instrument to realize the peace agreement forged with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the breakaway group of the MNLF.

Earlier, Dureza said the President would craft a “game plan” or “roadmap” to facilitate the smooth passage of the proposed BBL in Congress.

The decision came following his meeting with Congress leaders as well as officials of the MILF central committee and BTC in Malacanang last week wherein he reassured his commitment to “husband the approval of BBL until its implementation.”

The President’s last meeting with Misuari was last August in Malacanang. At the time, the President sought to forge a strong alliance with Misuari in the administration’s campaign against drugs, crime, and terrorism in Mindanao.

Melacanang earlier said it was leaving it up to Misuari to defend himself after the Sandiganbayan ordered his arrest on graft charges.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella acknowledged that Misuari is facing an “administrative case” that took place before the administration’s peace talks with his group.

The Sandiganbayan has ordered the issuance of an arrest warrant against the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in connection with the alleged anomalous purchase of textbooks and other education materials. The anti-graft court found probable cause for the arrest warrant against Misuari and his co-accused for graft and malversation charges.


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