A possible gentleman’s agreement is all President Duterte seeks to forge with Moro National Liberation Front chair Nur Misuari to help promote peace in the South, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea clarified yesterday.
Medialdea, speaking to Palace reporters in Manila, made clear that the government was not aiming to sign a new formal peace agreement with the MNLF.
“Walang agreement in writing,” the Palace official said. “Parang more of a gentleman’s agreement. Mag-usap na lang tayo dito, para, mag tulungan na lang tayo. Huwag siyang masyadong anuhin, respetuhin yung sa kanila,” he said.
Such possible informal arrangement with the Misuari would involve “ways of really improving, attaining unlimited peace” in Mindanao, Medialdea added.
The President recently announced it was time to “craft a new deal for the MNLF” following his meeting with Misuari in Malacanang last Monday. The meeting was held before Misuari’s planned meetings with world Muslim leaders in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.
“Sabi ko itong kay Nur, areglo tayo dito. Sabi ni Nur, he is willing to talk and he has waited this long for me to make a decisive decision when he comes back,” Duterte said before an assembly of mayors at the historic landmark Manila Hotel last Tuesday night. “Sabi ko time for us to craft a new deal for the MNLF of Misuari,” he added.
Duterte said Misuari “only wants to talk” and “does not want to fight.”
He said presidential peace adviser Carlito Galvez, Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana were “tasked to craft” the deal with the MNLF. (Genalyn Kabiling)