No backdoor deals in Misuari’s support for Duterte — MNLF counsel PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 11:38

The fugitive Nur Misuari has not asked for anything in exchange for his support to the candidacy of presidential wannabe Rodrigo Duterte, his counsel said Tuesday.

Lawyer Randolph “Bong” Parcasio said there was no “quid pro quo” in Misuari’s having endorsed Duterte to his followers in all of the more than 20 “revolutionary states” of the Moro National Liberation Front in Mindanao.

The Latin term quid pro quo is legal parlance to mean “something for something” or, in context, a barter agreement between two parties.

Misuari, founder of the MNLF, which fought the government for more than 30 years, endorsed Duterte’s candidacy last Sunday.

Parcasio, Misuari’s designated representative to his engagements with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said Misuari’s support for Duterte was voluntary and that it was his first time to endorse a presidential candidate.

The OIC, a bloc of more than 50 Muslim states, including petroleum-exporting countries in the Middle East and North Africa, helped broker the 1996 final government-MNLF compact.

Parcasio, who is based in Davao del Sur, said Misuari and Duterte, mayor of Davao City, are long-time friends.

Misuari is hiding somewhere in Sulu, wanted for his having allegedly instigated the deadly September 2013 siege of several barangays in Zamboanga City, which exacted heavy casualties on the military and the MNLF and dislocated more than 100,000 villagers.

Parcasio said Misuari’s support for Duterte may have been booted out by his overt recognition of the Moro issue as a political problem and his “patriarchal style” of serving Davao City’s Muslim communities.

He has not endorsed any presidential candidate before,” said Parcasio.

Parcasio was Misuari’s regional executive secretary when he was governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) from 1996 to 2001.

Misuari first endorsed on Sunday Duterte’s bid for the presidency via phone patch from Sulu, aired through a public address system during a gathering of senior MNLF members in Kidapawan City, capital of North Cotabato.

Misuari’s pronouncement was immediately reported by Central Mindanao’s popular radio network, the Notre Dame Broadcasting Corporation, which operates the influential Catholic stations dxND, dxMS and dxOM in the cities of Kidapawan, Cotabato and Koronadal, respectively.

Sources in Sulu, among them senior MNLF officials, said Misuari’s support for Duterte was not a “horse trade” either for exoneration from rebellion cases against him if the mayor is elected president.

“It was neither something in exchange for the full implementation, in `letter and spirit,’ of the 1996 final peace agreement between the government and the MNLF,” Parcasio said.

The government, the OIC and Malacañang just wrapped up last February the tripartite review of the now 19-year truce, a three-way effort prompted by misunderstandings on the implementation of many of its sensitive provisions.

The tripartite review, which started in 2007, resulted to the recognition by the three parties of 42 “consensus points” essential in furthering the agenda of the peace pact, some meant to expand the fiscal and political powers of the current Mindanao Muslim autonomy.

The 42 consensus points are still to be multilaterally fused with the framework of the government-MNLF peace overture and implemented by all parties.