The leader of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has backed President Duterte’s war on drugs, and warned of foreign Jihadis “infiltrating” the country.
Addressing his followers at the 50th anniversary of the MNLF at Davao Crocodile Park, Nur Misuari warned drug dealers in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that he would hang them in public.
“We will support the government’s policy to get rid of all drugs. We will hang all those who are violating this, hang them in public if they are caught doing the violation flagrantly,” he said.
He also threatened to destroy “foreign infiltrators” who he said were trying to sow disunity among Moros [Muslims].
“Those foreign infiltrators come to our homeland – to create dissension among us, to disunite us – we must guard against this even if they come from Indonesia, they come from Malaysia, they come from Saudi Arabia, from Morocco, from Iran and from places in the world, we will have to destroy them, before they can destroy us,” he said.
The 79-year-old, a close friend of President Duterte, also hinted that he may be ready to relinquish his post as leader of the MNLF. “After 50 years, maybe it’s about time I take some rest and let the second liners among our leadership to take over,” he said.
Misuari first rose to prominence when he signed the 1976 Tripoli Agreement with the Marcos government.
This was bolstered further when he signed a peace agreement with then President Fidel Ramos in 1996.
However, he went into hiding for three years following the Zamboanga siege in 2013, facing charges of rebellion and crimes against humanity. He has since been granted temporary liberty in order to take part in peace talks.
For a brief overview of the long history of Islamic insurgency in the Philippines, read this article.