By ALEXANDER LOPEZ
DAVAO CITY – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said he doesn’t mind if the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) flag is raised in city hall as long as it won’t downgrade the Philippine flag.
“As long as it is not higher than the Philippine flag I have no problem with that,“ he said.
Duterte revealed that he spoke with MNLF chairman Nur Misuari on the phone Monday, the day MNLF forces occupied four coastal barangays in Zamboanga.
He got the chance to talk to Misuari during a meeting with representatives of MNLF-Misuari group here with some Muslim in dividuals who are about to leave for a spiritual journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
During the phone conversation, Duterte told Misuari that it is always good to talk than to fight.
“I hope everything can be arranged to everybody’s satisfaction,” Duterte said, reminding Misuari to take care of himself.
“You know my stand, I have expressed it publicly,” Duterte went on, and told the MNLF leader to just call for the possibility of threshing out the current crisis in Zamboanga.
Local MNLF leaders here also told Duterte that Davao City will be spared from violence and that
they were given orders to support the peace and order efforts of the city government.
Duterte reiterated that maintaining the peace and order in Davao City is what he and Misuari had agreed.
“It’s a gentlemen’s agreement. I hope that we honor it,“ the Mayor told the local MNLF leaders.
In a meeting with the members of the press that followed, Duterte expressed concern over the situation in Zamboanga City that has already turned violent.
“I am against violence, whether initiated by the government or by Nur (Misuari),“ he told the media.