Duterte names Nur Misuari special envoy to Islamic body

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The President has appointed Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Founder Nur Misuari as the country’s Special Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 14) — The President has appointed Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Founder Nur Misuari as the country’s Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) confirmed the news Saturday after President Rodrigo Duterte and Misuari met in Davao Friday night.

“In order to accelerate the implementation of the peace agreements and to develop further the support of the Islamic countries, President Duterte announced the appointment of Misuari as Special Economic Envoy on Islamic Affairs to the OIC,” said OPAPP.

“Most of the leaders of the OIC are friends of Nur. It’s good that Allah has given you (Misuari) a longer life to see these things because I do not think that there is other Moro personality that could command the respect and trust of the OIC but only you,” said Duterte during the meeting, according to OPAPP.

The two have met at least thrice this year. In November, they decided to create a peace coordinating committee that would help in “combating the Abu Sayyaf Group and convincing MNLF relatives to return to the folds of the law.” The meeting in Davao was the first time the committee convened.

Misuari “gladly received” the position. He is set to attend the annual meeting of the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States in Burkina Faso in Western Africa on January 21 to 23, 2020.

In February, the Sandiganbayan allowed Misuari to travel abroad to the United Arab Emirates and Morocco for this year’s Parliamentary Union meeting in the United Arab Emirates and Morocco in March. Misuari is facing graft and malversation raps over the alleged anomalous purchase of ₱77 million worth of educational materials when he was governor of the then Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The peace coordinating committee consists of MNLF members, Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito G. Galvez Jr., Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Secretary Salvador Panelo, National Defense Undersecretary Cesar Yano, Presidential Adviser on Military Affairs Undersecretary Arthur Tabaquero, Bangsamoro Transition Authority member Nabil Tan, and retired BGen. Buenaventura Pascual.

OPAPP said the members discussed the remaining commitments in the Tripartite Review Process of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement — namely, the Bangsamoro Development Assistance Fund and the creation of the Tripartite Implementation Monitoring Committee.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Interior Secretary Eduardo Manahan Año, Solicitor General Jose Calida, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ernesto Abella and Prosecutor Rassendell Rex Gingoyon from the Justice department also attended along with former Executive Secretaries Eduardo Ermita and Ruben Torres, who played a major role during the crafting of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement and Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go.