The government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will be finalizing next month the creation of a peace coordinating committee to help resolve conflict in Mindanao.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said this plan was discussed during the meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari in Malacañang on Monday night.
Panelo said Duterte and Misuari have agreed to meet in Davao City next month to finalize the peace coordinating committee.
To recall, Duterte and Misuari have met 5 times this year with their most recent meeting held last August 23 tackling ways to advance the peace process in the south.
“It was a continuation of the meeting when Chairman Nur Misuari came I think last August. Ang usapan nila mag-mi-meet ulit sila (The agreement is they will meet again) because there’s a suggestion that there should be a committee that will help in the peace process,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing on Tuesday.
“The purpose of course is to have peace with the MNLF and to ensure the success of the government,” he added.
Earlier, Panelo said it was during their August 23 meeting where Duterte relayed his desire for immediate formation of GPH-MNLF panel to Misuari.
“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,” Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said Misuari was hopeful that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) would be involved in the consultations to determine the remaining compliance of the GPH in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF.
Misuari wanted a similar setup to the previous tripartite talks among the GPH, MNLF, and the OIC, he added.
Last March, the President bared that he is “in a hurry” to strike a deal with Misuari to finally end the long-drawn Moro rebellion and achieve lasting peace in Mindanao.
Duterte said that just like how government has “come to terms” with Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim through the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), he wanted to do the same with Misuari. (PNA)