PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte will meet with the head of a Muslim rebel group next month to discuss how it can help resolve decades-old conflict in the Mindanao region, his spokesman said yesterday.

The president will talk to Moro National Liberation Front Chairman Nur Misuari to finalize a plan to create a joint committee on Mindanao peace, presidential spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said.

“There will be a meeting again in Davao by December,” he said. “The purpose is to have peace with MNLF and ensure the success of the government.”

Mr. Panelo said he and National Security Adviser Hermogenes C. Esperon, presidential peace adviser Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. will be among the members of the peace committee.

The coordinating committee seeks to craft a plan to fight the Abu Sayaf, the most violent extremist group in the Mindanao region that has used terror for profit and to promote its jihadist agenda.

The group also engages in kidnapping for ransom, bombings, assassinations and extortions, according to the US National Counterterrorism Center. — GMC