MNLF founder Nur Misuari endorses Duterte for President

Nur Misuari is still in hiding but he has issued a statement on March 6, encouraging his followers to support Rodrigo Duterte's bid for the presidency.

Inquirer  quoted the Moro National Liberation Front founder as saying, "Don't be afraid, give all your support to our brother Rodrigo Duterte. He is the MNLF's candidate."

Nur Misuari and Rodrigo Duterte (Image Credit: Al Jazeera, GMA Network)

According to MNLF chief of  staff for Central Mindanao, Datu Kautin Usman, it's the first time that Misuari has recommended a presidential aspirant since he founded the MNLF in 1969.

Misuari seems pleased with Duterte's pronouncement that he would pursue peace negotiations in Mindanao.

As early as July last year, Duterte said that he would support the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) if all Moro groups, including Nur's MNLF are included or consulted.

In the most recent survey released by Pulse Asia Research, Incorporated released on March 4, Duterte is tied with Manuel "Mar" Roxas II at 3rd place. Grace Poe remains on top with 26%, followed closely by Vice President Jejomar Binay with 25%.

Based on the survey results, Duterte is already leading in Mindanao at 45%, with Binay a far second at 21%. With Misuari's endorsement, Duterte's lead could only widen further in Mindanao. But would that be enough to vault him to the top of the presidential race?

Maybe not, but an endorsement from Misuari indicates that Duterte may be moving in the right direction towards lasting peace in Mindanao.
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