MILF urges Duterte to bring Misuari on board Bangsamoro

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 28 2019 12:29 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2019 12:49 PM

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MANILA -- The Moro Islamic Liberation Front on Monday urged President Rodrigo Duterte to urge Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari to support the expanded autonomous region in the south.

The Bangsamoro, envisioned as an expansion of the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, was approved in a plebiscite last week.

The Bangsamoro will be created as part of a peace deal between Manila and the MILF in 2014, replacing the ARMM, formed under a settlement in 1996 between the government and the Misuari-led MNLF. Misuari once served as ARMM governor.

Pushing for the Bangsamoro Organic Law ahead of the plebiscite, Duterte said he hoped to talk to Misuari, whom he described as his "good friend."

"We hope he can convince brother Nur Misuari to support a Bangsamoro government and join us, for after all, he is our first chairman, the chairman of MNLF and he led us all during those days," MILF vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar said of Duterte.

"Nur Misuari is a revolutionary man and I think he is a good leader when he was leading us as MNLF. He also loves his people and I think he cannot deny that his help is needed also by the Bangsamoro government," Jaafar told ANC's Early Edition.

The MILF and 2 groups of the MNLF have submitted lists of nominees to the transition Bangsamoro parliament and Misuari could also his own list for the President's consideration, said Jaafar.

After a plebiscite last week that saw the ratification of the BOL and the inclusion of Cotabato City into the region, another vote is scheduled for Feb. 6 in select barangays in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato that petitioned to be part of the Bangsamoro.