Duterte Set to Grant Misuari Safe Conduct for Peace Meet

Manila, Philippines, 03 Muharram 1438/03 October 2016 (MINA) — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to grant a safe conduct pass to fugitive Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari so they can talk peace in Davao City, The Star reported.

“Nur Misuari is scheduled to get out of his camp,” the president said during the opening of the MassKara Festival in Bacolod City on Sunday.

“I will just give him a conduct pass, he will go to Davao, we will talk,” he added.

Duterte did not say when his meeting with Misuari would take place.

Misuari has been charged with rebellion for allegedly plotting the Zamboanga siege, which claimed the lives of more than 200 people in 2013. The siege, which lasted for 20 days, started after Misuari’s followers tried to raise their flag at the Zamboanga City Hall and held hostage hundreds of civilians.

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Duterte said in a previous interview that the arrest warrant against Misuari would not be implemented so they can talk.

In recent speeches, the president said Misuari had asked him to include members of local terrorist group Abu Sayyaf in the peace talks and to give them general amnesty. Duterte, however, turned down the proposal.

“If that’s the case then let’s not talk anymore. I will not. For the life of me, I will not,” he told Marine troopers in Fort Bonifacio last September 27.

“Why should I talk to animals? What’s the point? They are merciless,” he added.

The MNLF has denied that it suggested including the Abu Sayyaf in peace talks.

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Misuari has been credited for the release of Norwegian Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was abducted by the Abu Sayyaf last year and six Indonesians who were seized by the bandits this year.

Sekkingstad and his three companions were kidnapped by the Abu Sayyaf in a resort in Samal Island on Sept. 21, 2015.

Two of Sekkingstad’s companions, Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall, were beheaded this year after the P300 million ransom demanded by the bandits for each person was not met. His Filipina companion, Maritess Flor, was freed last June 24.

Officials said Misuari also helped facilitate the release of three Indonesians who were kidnapped in Sabah last July and three other Indonesians who were abducted in Sulu last June.

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The Indonesians who were seized in Sabah were released last month while those who were kidnapped in Sulu were freed last Sunday. (T/R07/R01)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)