PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari have agreed to pursue the fight against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism in Mindanao.
The commitment was made during Duterte’s meeting with Misuari in Malacañang on Thursday, according to the video released by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).
“The latest in a series of meetings with the MNLF leader, the President continues to forge a strong alliance with Chairman Misuari for their cooperation in the administration’s war against illegal drugs, criminality and terrorism in Mindanao,” the PCOO said.
Misuari was accompanied by his wife Tarhata, their son Abdulkarim, Yahodza Simpal, Utadz Abdul Asiz Amenudddi, and Yaser Lumbos.
Duterte and Misuari met as government forces have been battling the Islamic State-linked Maute terrorists in Marawi City since May 23. The terrorists had launched attacks in the city, prompting Duterte to declare martial law in Mindanao.
Duterte said he has accepted the offer of Misuari for 2,000 of his men to join the fight against the Maute terrorists but reconsidered after because it was not good to pit Moros against fellow Moros.
“Nur and I talked once… He offered to send 2,000 of his men. I said ‘Wait, not now. Not now Nur,'” Duterte has said. “It’s not good to be fighting if they do not realize what it’s all about. A Moro against the Moro. Let us make them understand first what this is all about.”