MNLF puts up 3 demands for release of police chief PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:56

The MNLF Misuari faction has put up three demands for the safe release of City Police Chief Sr. Supt. Chiquito Malayo and two of his men who were seized by the rebels in Mampang before noon yesterday.

The demands were disclosed by MNLF spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla in an interview with Rappler.com, an online media.

They are: Stop the hostilities and for government to release the captives include a negotiation for a political resolution of the conflict.

MNLF has declared Malayo and his two security escorts as “prisoners of war.”

“They were captured by our ground forces,” Fontanilla told Rappler.

“He led the clearing in the area of Sta Catalina. Yung pag advance nya sa unahan duon na sya na-captured. Yes nag-positioning ang mga tropa kasi wala nang mataguan sa Sta Barbara at Sta Catalina kaya sinunog na ng AFP/PNP,” Fontanilla claimed.

Refusing to disclose the location of the rebel custodian unit, Fontanilla said the captured cops are in a safe place.

Malayo’s capture brought a major setback to what could have been the government’s successful offensive against the MNLF forces that laid siege to Zamboanga City starting Sept. 9 and triggered a crisis which entered on 9th day yesterday.

Many residents heaved a sigh of relief after officials announced that the military has cleared most of the areas occupied by the MNLF rebels. President Benigno Aquino III himself is still here; he arrived last Friday, September 13.

Unconfirmed report said that Malayo’s driver, a certain Dacumos and one escort PO3 Jemuel Alvarez were killed by the rebels. Firefight erupted several minutes after Malayo’s abduction, where SPO1 Amado Mirasol was wounded.

The fresh running gunbattle in Mampang and Arena Blanco spread Talabaan, triggering evacuation in those two villages and other nearby barangays like Talabaan, Taluksangay and Merceded.

Mayor Beng Climaco disclosed that a total of 179 hostages have either been released or rescued by security forces in the conflict areas. (See the list of names in page 1)

Other developments:

* A six-year-old girl was killed by a stray bullet at the ICAS evacuation center Monday night. The victim is the daughter of a barangay health worker assisting other evacuees. Two other persons were also wounded by stray bullets — one at the Zamboanga City High School Main  andanother at in Magay.

* Three soldiers were killed while 10 others were wounded during the successful operations in the last 18 hours in rescuing the more than 100 hostages.

“Three soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice to rescue the hostages. Ten other soldiers were injured in the tug of war for the hostages,” 7th Civil Relation Group commander Major Harold Cabunoc said on his Twitter account.

He added that while soldiers used selective fire in dealing with the MNLF rebels  to protect the hostages from stray bullets, the MNLF used automatic gunfire against them.

“We want to protect the hostages even from our own bullets during the firefight. We are ready to face the risks to end this conflict,” Cabunoc pointed out.