President Rodrigo Roa Duterte had a productive meeting with Mr. Nur Misuari, Founding Chairperson of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in discussing peace efforts in Mindanao last Friday night in Davao City.
The President relayed to Mr. Misuari his desire to immediately form a Coordinating Committee between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MNLF, and instructed the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation, and Unity (OPAPRU) to convene the same by the second week of September in Davao City for agenda setting and for the start of discussions.
On the part of Mr. Misuari, he wished that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) be involved in the consultations, similar to the previous tripartite talks with GPH, MNLF and the OIC, to determine the remaining compliance of the GPH in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF.
The GPH-MNLF Coordinating Committee will serve as a venue to seek for the cooperation of the MNLF to achieve immediate peace in Sulu by, among others, helping in combatting the Abu Sayyaf Group and convincing MNLF relatives to return to the folds of the law.
The GPH-MNLF Coordinating Committee can expect the full support of the Office of the President as we move towards our common goal of resolving the conflict that have caused deaths, suffering, and dislocation among the Muslims and Christians alike.
In resolving the Muslim rebellion in Mindanao, every undertaking that may lead to a lasting peace and prosperity to that region must be tried and tested until its fruition.
We can do no less as a people. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will walk the extra mile to bring harmony to the country and the nation.
Salvador S. Panelo
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel
& Presidential Spokesperson