Jolo rebel leader Nur Misuari is being wooed as an election candidate by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's party - despite being accused by her government of involvement in the deaths of 113 people. Misuari, who has been in detention since 2002, said in his first extensive interview in six years that he had been approached as a potential candidate by both Mrs Arroyo's Kampi Party and opposition representatives, but added: 'I am really keen to run for governor [of Sulu] under the party of the administration.' Misuari, who chairs the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), confirmed that he had been visited over the weekend by Ronaldo Puno, the Department of Interior and Local Government secretary, to explore his possible candidacy under the Kampi Party in May elections. 'He came here ... then he told the media afterwards that I was going to run under Kampi,' Misuari said from the mansion in Quezon City rented by the government for his house arrest. Kampi, which fielded Mrs Arroyo as its vice-presidential candidate in 1998, was part of a coalition of six parties that backed her victorious presidential campaign in 2004. It has since been in hiatus, but Mr Puno, the party president and Mrs Arroyo's key political strategist, is reviving it. Mrs Arroyo is both the founding chairman of the Kampi Party and the co-chairman of the Lakas Party. Mr Puno said on Saturday after meeting Misuari that 'if Nur Misuari will run under Kampi, it will be based on issues of peace and development in Mindanao'. Mr Puno did not say what post would be offered and he could not be reached for further comment. Misuari said: 'I hope mentioning that in the media is an indication that they are being receptive to my idea of running.' Presidential peace adviser Jesus Dureza said he could not comment on the administration's plans to field the detained rebel chief. But he noted that since Misuari had not been convicted of any crime, 'his political rights to vote and to be voted upon are not removed'. The government posed no objections to his plea last year before a court to let him register as a voter in Jolo, the capital of Sulu. Under election law, a candidate must first be registered in the place where he would like to run for office. Misuari was flown under heavy guard to register in Jolo in December. He has been charged with rebellion for allegedly ordering 600 rebel members to attack police and military outposts on Jolo Island and to hold civilians hostage in the Christian city of Zamboanga in 2001. This was after Mrs Arroyo refused to back his re-election as governor of the Muslim autonomous region, saying he was a poor administrator. But the government last year dangled the possibility of dropping charges against him. Misuari's lawyer, Yasser Lumbos, confirmed yesterday that late last year the regional trial court hearing the rebellion case had sent it back to the Department of Justice 'for re-investigation'. 'The court ordered it back to the department of justice for re-investigation, to determine the existence of probable cause,' he said. 'If the Department of Justice will declare no probable cause to warrant prosecution, then charges could eventually be dismissed.' Misuari said he told Mr Puno that others, including those in opposition parties, had invited him to run for the Senate. 'But that's not a place for me,' Misuari said. 'I told them I would rather run for barangay captain [village chief]. So they told me why not run for Sulu governor and I said I would consult my people. I thought that was the best choice - to run as governor under Kampi.' As governor, he said he could obtain foreign aid to complete a 10-lane highway, which he had started on Jolo Island when he was the Muslim autonomous region's governor. One of Misuari's aides, Ustadz Sharif Zain Jali, said his running for office would bring electoral dividends to Mrs Arroyo. He said the chairman's followers would campaign for other Kampi candidates in the region, helping assure Mrs Arroyo's grip on Congress. Jolo will be a key battleground in Senate and local elections in May. Recent surveys show that Mrs Arroyo's Senate ticket is likely to lose heavily to the opposition. Mr Jali also said becoming Sulu governor was one way for the jailed leader to vindicate himself. 'Nur Misuari does not want to fight anymore. If he wins, he will show the government that he will stand up for the right of the Bangsamoro people - the native residents of southern Philippines - through peaceful means, not through arms anymore.' But Nash Pangadapun, secretary general of the Muslim people's group Maradeka, sees another reason. 'It will convince the Organisation of Islamic Conference that it is supporting the Moro National Liberation Front.' The OIC brokered a peace pact between the front and the government in 1996. Misuari has accused the government of reneging on the pact.