The president claims that Misuari was vital to his administration’s plan to end a rebellion that has affected parts of the south, leaving them in deep poverty.
Duterte appealed to soldiers and Moro rebels to silence their guns and give him the chance to stop the bloodshed.
“My job when I became President was really to seek peace, not war,” he said.
Misuari remains in hiding after a 2013 siege in nearby Zamboanga City that left 200 dead and thousands displaced. The attack was carried out by his MNLF supporters to stop the government’s peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
|Photo by ABS-CBN News|
Misuari in 1996 led the MNLF in signing a peace deal with government. He later became governor of the Muslim autonomous region in Mindanao. When the region remained in deep poverty despite the large amount of funds allocated to them, Benigno Aquino III had branded it as a failure, displeasing the Moro leader and his armed followers.
“I’ve been telling him if we can just talk about peace, let’s find ways,” the President said.
The president said he wanted a unified talk with Moro rebels, both MILF and MNLF, saying “no other president” wanted to see peace as much he did.
“I hope this is now the time (for peace) so that our troops can also go home. They will enjoy the peace of the land and go back to their families,” he said.
“I am appealing to you to stop this war, I am pleading. I will talk to you,” he added. MJM
Duterte to MNLF leader: Come out of hiding and let’s talk peace Reviewed by FilipiNews PH on Saturday, August 13, 2016 Rating: