Misuari wants to include OIC in Mindanao peace talks

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 27 2019 12:01 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte speaks with MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari. Photo courtesy of Sen. Bong Go

MANILA - Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari wants to include the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in talks with the government on peace efforts in Mindanao, Malacañang said Tuesday.

Misuari made the remark in his meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte in Davao City last Friday, where the chief executive called for a coordinating body for peace talks between the government and the MNLF.

"He (Misuari) wished that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) be involved in the consultations, similar to the previous tripartite talks with GPH (Government of the Philippines), MNLF and the OIC, to determine the remaining compliance of the GPH in the 1996 Final Peace Agreement with the MNLF,” Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

In 1996, the government under former president Fidel Ramos forged a peace accord with the Misuari-led MNLF with the aid of the OIC. The agreement earned both Ramos and Misuari the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in 1997.

In the fresh round of talks set to start next month, Panelo said the government would seek the MNLF's help in combatting local terror group Abu Sayyaf to achieve peace in Sulu.

Duterte has repeatedly said he hopes to reach an agreement with Misuari, whom he earlier said warned him of war should government fail to pursue a shift to federalism.

Misuari is a former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, the entity superseded by the Bangsamoro region.