By Maya M. Padillo

MNLF ready to cooperate with Duterte’s anti-drug campaign

Posted on July 12, 2016

DAVAO CITY -- The Moro National Liberation Front’s (MNLF) spokesperson, lawyer Randolph C. Parcasio, announced that their members are prepared to be trained and help in President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Mr. Parcasio, speaking during Friday’s Hariraya Eid’l-Fitr celebration here that was attended by Mr. Duterte, noted that the MNLF has previously worked with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Davao City on operations against illegal drug peddlers.

“It was a very successful campaign. However, ’yung mga nahuli na dismiss ang mga kaso nila dahil (the cases filed against those arrested were dismissed because) the MNLF was not trained in gathering evidences against the accused,” Mr. Parcasio said.

He said MNLF members must now undergo training first before being recruited to help in the operations.

Mr. Parcasio added that they are also fully supporting the President’s campaign against corruption, kidnapping and other forms of criminality.

Mr. Duterte, for his part, acknowledged the MNLF’s expression of support but told Mr. Parcasio that he will first have to meet and discuss with MNLF founder Nur Misuari.

“The President’s reply to me was: he and Nur will still have to talk,” Mr. Parcasio said in Filipino.

Mr. Duterte, during the same event, reiterated his previous announcements that he intends to meet with Mr. Misuari, primarily to discuss the peace process, federalism and the creation of a new Bangsamoro territory.

“I might travel to Jolo to talk to Nur. I may also order the military for Nur to move around to get a consensus among his men,” Mr. Duterte said.

Mr. Misuari and about 60 other MNLF members are facing rebellion and war crime charges for staging a three-week siege of Zamboanga City in September 2013, which left hundreds dead and thousands displaced.