Duterte wiling to meet Misuari, assures he won’t be arrested
President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he is willing to meet with Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), in Malaysia, and assured him he won’t be arrested due to alleged involvement in the siege of Zamboanga City in 2013.
In an interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal II, Duterte said said he spoke to Misuari, now a fugitive, over the phone on Tuesday night and expressed his intention to meet him.
He said Misuari suggested that they could meet in Kuala Lumpur. "He (Misuari) wants Kuala Lumpur in front of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) and some of his people in Bangsa Tausug," Duterte said.
Duterte said he can meet Misuari in Kuala Lumpur or in Jolo, Sulu.
"Or if he wants somebody there, they can bring him back to Davao City or in Manila. He can be my guest in Malacanang, in the People’s Palace, and we can talk there for a while," Duterte said.
Despite a warrant of arrest against Misuari for his alleged role in the Zamboanga siege in 2013, Duterte said security forces would not arrest him.
"Well, if there is a warrant of arrest, all I have to do is to do not implement it against him," he said, explaining that he did not want anything bad to happen to Misuari while under the government's custody, raising a possibility of a bigger problem if it would happen.
He said Misuari is the only leader who has the influence and structure among the Bangsa Tausug, the latter's tribe based in Sulu.
The Duterte administration has been trying to reach a consolidated peace deal with all Muslim groups, such as the MNLF and the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and the leftist rebels. Celerina Monte