Duterte assigns Misuari as special envoy to int'l Islamic organization

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 21 2020 06:28 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte designates MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari as special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Presidential photo/File

MANILA- President Rodrigo Duterte has designated Moro National Liberation Front founding chair Nur Misuari as the Philippines' special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

Duterte assigned Misuari to the post on Monday according to a list of new presidential appointees Malacañang released Tuesday.

The OIC is the world's second-largest inter-governmental organization after the United Nations with a membership of 57 states across 4 continents. 

The organization describes itself as the "collective voice of the Muslim World."

The President first announced Misuari's designation as special envoy last month, saying he cannot think of any other person that "could command the respect and trust of the OIC" other than the Moro leader.

"Consider it as an honor for me to delegate you as special envoy of the government so that you can foster further lasting relationships with the leaders of the Islamic countries," Duterte told Misuari last month.

Misuari was former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the region replaced by the Bangsamoro. 

In 2013, he was charged for alleged involvement in the Zamboanga siege, an attack the MNLF launched allegedly over its exclusion from peace talks between the government and another Moro group.

The siege left some 200 dead, including police officers, soldiers, rebels, and civilians. Misuari was released on bail in 2016 and has since met with Duterte several times.