MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte revealed Tuesday that Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari wants to include the Abu Sayyaf Group in peace talks with the government.
Duterte added that Misuari also wants amnesty for members of the terrorist group.
"Si Misuari, I've been waiting for him but he seems equivocal because 'yung proposal niya ngayon, pati 'yung Abu Sayyaf, isali na niya at pagdating nga panahon kung magka-okay tayo, isali natin sa general amnesty," Duterte said in a speech before more than 400 Marines during a camp visit at the Philippine Marine Headquarters in Taguig City.
(I've been waiting for (Nur) Misuari but he seems equivocal. He is proposing to include the Abu Sayyaf Group in the peace talks, and eventually, make them eligible for general amnesty.)
Duterte said he rejected the proposal outright. He said he is willing to drop the talks with Misuari altogether if he insists on bringing in the Abu Sayyaf.
"Sabi ko, pagka-ganun, 'wag na lang tayo mag-usap. I will not, for the life of me, as a matter of principle. Forget about it," Duterte said.
(I said, if that is the case, it's better if we drop the talks. I will not, for the life of me, as a matter of principle. Forget about it.)
He had some harsh words for the terrorist group.
"Why should I talk to animals? What's the point? Ni walang awa. (They show no mercy.)"
Duterte said his administration will not deal amicably with the terrorist group.
"Ang mga Morong kapatid ko, sabi ko nga, federalism... Pumunta ka sa akin with a mixed crowd including 'yung Abu Sayyaf, bahala ka diyan. You wait for another president," he said.
(To my Moro brethren, my proposal is federalism. But if you come to me with a mixed crowd, which is with the Abu Sayyaf, you better get lost. You wait for another president.) – With a report from Zen Hernandez, ABS-CBN News