MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte asked Filipino Muslims to put his trust on him as his administration tries to end the long-standing Moro insurgency gripping the country's south.
Duterte said he acknowledges that addressing the fundamental needs of humans is the best way to address the insurgency.
''All of us want peace, not the peace of the dead, but the peace of the living,'' Duterte said in his first State of the Nation Address (SONA).
''I reach out to you, to all of you today. To our Muslim brothers, let us end centuries of mistrust."
Duterte, the country's 's first president from Mindanao, is trying to bring together the country's Muslim rebel groups so his government can come up with a consolidated peace agreement.
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Moro National Liberation Front's (MNLF) faction of Muslimin Sema have come together to support Duterte's peace agenda.
Duterte is trying to reach out to the MNLF faction of Nur Misuari, who was not happy with the peace efforts of the previous administration with the MILF.
Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza earlier said all of the peace agreements entered into by various administrations with the MILF and MNLF will be taken into consideration in the crafting of a new Bangsamoro law which addresses the aspirations of the Moro people.
Dureza said the move towards the creation of a new Bangsamoro law and its eventual implementation would not affect the government's goal of setting up a federal form of government.