MNLF Misuari faction to be engaged by govt separately

MANILA, Nov. 10 — The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Secretary Jesus G. Dureza pointed out that the concerns of the group of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari and his followers will have to be handled separate from that of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and MNLF Muslimin Sema faction.

The Misuari group, according to Dureza, will constitute its own five-person panel that the government will soon engage with. This panel will work on the completion of the remaining commitments under the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and the recently-concluded Tripartite Review Process on the said peace deal between the government, the MNLF, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Misuari, who was temporarily released by the court so he can participate in the Bangsamoro peace process, opted not to take part in the newly-constituted Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to draft an enabling law for the future Bangsamoro government.

“We will engage with his panel by coming up with inputs that, later on, will be submitted to Congress,” Dureza expounded, adding that Misuari’s decision was based on his “principled position” in the peace process.

“Chairman Nur Misuari has principled position since the BTC is a mechanism of the CAB. Of course, you should understand that Chairman Nur Misuari makes reference to government and MNLF’s 1996 Final Peace Agreement. He has not yet abandon that agreement,” Dureza clarified.

Following the release of the court order for his temporary freedom, Misuari flew directly from Sulu to meet Duterte in Malacanan Palace last 3 November upon the invitation of the president to tackle the peace process in Mindanao. Misuari affirmed his commitment on Duterte’s thrust to bring permanent peace in Mindanao.

Prior to their meeting, Duterte acknowledged Misuari’s important role in the Bangsamoro peace process. Dureza, meanwhile, said that Misuari was instrumental in the recent releases of hostages held by the Abu Sayyaf.

Convergence of MNLF-MILF peace tracks

Dureza explained that both the Misuari panel and the BTC will submit their respective proposals to the Congress.

“The MILF and the BTC will craft their proposed enabling law… The Misuari panel’s draft may be towards enhancing Republic Act 9054 or the ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) law. They still have reservations in the law as far as the implementation is concerned,” Dureza explained.

These reservations were tackled during the review process which resulted to the 42 consensus points, the creation of Bangsamoro Development Assistance Fund for conflict-affected areas, the establishment of a Tripartite Implementation Monitoring Committee that will oversee the delivery of the agreements during the review, and the Interim Agreement on the Strategic Minerals.

Dureza pointed out that the inputs from both the BTC and Misuari panel will be submitted and reconciled in the Congress.

“The convergence will take place in the Congress – the Congress will craft one Bangsamoro law for all of us. We will trust the Congress to reconcile these differences if any,” the peace adviser clarified.  (OPAPP)

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