Duterte: Misuari will be remembered as a statesman

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 19) — President Rodrigo Duterte had made no secret of his closeness to the founder of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).

In a speech delivered in front of delegates from Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam, Duterte spoke fondly of MNLF founding chairperson Nur Misuari.

"Nur to his everlasting credit,someday he would be recognized as one statesman above just being or aside from being a revolutionary warrior," Duterte said.

He added that he would again talk to Misuari "soon" on peace issues.

"It should be soon, and as a matter of fact any other agreement with any other revolutionary front should take place simultaneously," Duterte said.

The country's chief executive noted his impatience on matters of peace, given that he is old and only has three years left in his term.

"As I grow old and I see the horizon, it's just not really a very long way from now. I will be gone. And I would like to sinasabi ko sa (I'm telling the) military maybe I cannot wait really for peace to travel in a very snail pace," Duterte said.

Duterte had previously said that he had consulted Misuari on the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which was recently ratified through a plebiscite, creating a new government entity that replaces the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.