Duterte appoints Nur Misuari as special envoy to OIC

Duterte appoints Nur Misuari as special envoy to OIC

Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has appointed Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) chairman Nur Misuari as Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

President Duterte announced the appointment of Misuari during his meeting with the members of Peace Coordinating Committee (PCC) at the Matina Enclaves in Davao last Friday, the Office of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) said yesterday in a statement.

“Brother Nur has occupied several positions in the past. Considered 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,” the President was quoted as telling Misuari.

“Most of the leaders of the OIC are friends of Nur. It’s good that Allah has given you a longer life to see these things because I do not think that there is another Moro personality that could command the respect and trust of the OIC but only you. You are the only one who can bring the case to the OIC and get the results,” Duterte added.

“We are grateful” to the President, Misuari said after accepting the post.

At the first meeting of the newly established government-MNLF Peace Coordinating Committee which Duterte presided over on Friday, OPAPP said the government and MNLF have agreed to pursue the implementation of the remaining commitments contained in the Tripartite Review Process of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement.

“At least before I step down, I want to see an enduring peace in Mindanao,” the President said.

Duterte and Misuari have met several times this year to discuss ways to further improve their partnership for sustainable peace in Mindanao.

Misuari is poised to attend the annual meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States in Burkina Faso in Western Africa from Jan. 21 to 23, 2020. Leaders of theOIC are set to visit the Philippines in February 2020.

The President earlier emphasized that “no one will be left behind in the peace process and everyone will be given equitable opportunity and be fair for all the people in the Bangsamoro.”

Duterte and Misuari have also vowed to work closely to pursue federalism.

“Help me also convince the Moro members of Congress to work on it fast vis à vis the effort on the federal set up,” the President said.

“Our allies in Congress have assured me that they will work on it because that is part of my program. In the campaign, I said drugs, corruption and federal system. I have to comply,” the President said.

Misuari, for his part, said he will help in the government’s efforts to rid Mindanao of threats from terror groups, particularly in the island province of Sulu, where the Abu-Sayyaf Group is actively operating.

“There is no place for them to go…We can assure the President that the MNLF will fully support the resolution of this problem. Try us on how effective we are,” Misuari vowed.

Misuari, who is facing rebellion charges in connection with 2013 siege of Zamboanga, is out on bail.

Peace Adviser Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Friday said the military and police as well as MNLF forces on the ground can establish closer coordination efforts in fighting terror through the PCC.

“There will be security coordination with MNLF forces to persuade the Abu Sayyaf members to return to the mainstream society and to eradicate the problem of terrorism and kidnapping incidents, particularly in Sulu,” Galvez said. – With Roel Pareño



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