MANILA (Manila Times) – President Rodrigo Duterte is creating a body to coordinate peace efforts with the MNLF.
Malacang Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte informed MNLF founder Nur Misuari of his desire to create the coordinating panel when the two met in Davao City on August 23.
“The President relayed to Mr Misuari his desire to immediately form a Coordinating Committee between the government of the Philippines and the MNLF, and instructed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity to convene the same by the second week of September in Davao City for agenda-setting and for the start of discussions,” Panelo said.
The committee, he added, would serve as “a venue to seek for the cooperation of the MNLF to achieve immediate peace in Sulu by, among others, helping in combating the Abu Sayyaf Group and convincing MNLF relatives to return to the folds of the law.”
Misuari headed the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which was replaced by the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
The MNLF has questioned the supposed inequitable distribution of positions at the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, an interim governing body of the BARMM.
The President had expressed hopes that an agreement would be reached with Misuari, who had warned of war should the government failed to pursue the shift to a federal system of government.
The Palace had said Duterte might consider creating a new regional government for the MNLF.
Panelo noted that during his meeting with Duterte, Misuari raised the need to involve the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in consultations to determine the compliance of the national government to the 1996 peace agreement with the MNLF.
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