Duterte Confident Nur Misuari Won’t Do Anything ‘Foolish’

Manila, Philippines, MINA — President Rodrigo Duterte is optimistic the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) would not do anything foolish now that the Bangsamoro Organic Law has been signed, Philstar reported Monday

Duterte, who has expressed readiness to listen to MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari’s demands, stressed that he does not want to wage a war against his own countrymen.

UN welcomes signing of ‘landmark’ Bangsamoro Organic Law

“Nur is just biding his time. I do not know his real intention. But I trust that Nur would not do anything that’s foolish,” the president said during the unveiling of a drug rehabilitation center in Bukidnon last Friday.

“Alam naman niya na ako talaga surrender ako (He knows that I will yield to him). I really want peace,” he added.

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Duterte previously said he was ready to provide Misuari autonomy if the MNLF leader asks for it.

Misuari founded the MNLF in 1972 to push for the establishment of an independent Moro state. The MNLF and the Philippine government signed the Tripoli Agreement in 1976 which paved the way to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) two decades later.

Misuari has been critical of the peace agreement signed by the government and the MNLF breakaway group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in 2014.

He claimed that the deal violated existing agreements between the government and the MNLF. The MNLF founder was charged with rebellion in connection with the 2013 Zamboanga siege, which left close to 200 rebels and more than 20 government troops dead.

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The BOL, which will create a new Bangsamoro region with greater economic and political powers, will implement the 2014 peace agreement between the government and the MILF.

“Whether it (BOL) will be implemented right or not…It’s still unfolding. So we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed and pray to God,” Duterte said.

 

 

Ceremonial signing of BOL  

The president announced last July 26 that he has signed into law the BOL but a ceremonial signing would be held in Malacañang on Monday, August 6. Cabinet members, security officials and MILF leaders are expected to attend the event.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque expressed hope that the measure would spur peace and development in Mindanao.

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“We cannot underplay the significance of this signing as we take comfort in this momentous step towards building the foundation of a lasting peace in Mindanao. We, therefore,e would like to express our gratitude to all those who worked hard to enable the passage of this landmark law,” Roque said.

“At the same time, we recognize that more work still lies ahead, and we thank all those who remain patient and committed to this arduous task. We look forward to working with our countrymen in Mindanao in bringing the much-needed development to the island,” he added. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)

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