Duterte, Misuari in first meeting since Bangsamoro Law signing

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 23 2018 10:47 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte meets with Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari on August 22, 2018. Their meeting comes nearly a month after the President signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law. Photo courtesy of Special Assistant to the President Bong Go

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte met with Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari, where they affirmed their mutual desire for peace in Mindanao, the chief executive's aide said Thursday.

The meeting in Davao City on Wednesday was the first since Duterte signed the Bangsamoro Organic Law or BOL in July. Special Assistant to the President Bong Go released photos of the meeting.

The BOL, which grants wider autonomy to the Muslim minority in the south, was an offshoot of a 2014 peace accord between Manila and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a rival of Misuari's MNLF.

Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, pursued talks with the MILF, calling the existing Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao a "failed experiment."

Misuari served as ARMM governor after the MNLF struck a peace deal with the government of former President Fidel Ramos in 1996.

Duterte had said he could give Misuari "autonomy… if that is what he wants and pending the federal system implementation."

The President was referring to efforts to rewrite the Constitution and put in place a federal form of government in place of the current presidential setup.