Malayo episode, a puzzle PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 September 2013 11:40

OIC-City Police Director Sr. Supt. Jose Chiquito Malayo would not say whether or not he was taken hostage by MNLF fighters saying he was able to convince 23 of the MNLF members to surrender and be placed under the custody of the military.

Malayo left Mampang with 23 MNLF rebels and were fetched by police and military vehicles that proceeded to the Western Mindanao Command for debriefing.

The Malayo episode sparked varied reactions as many would not believe the police chief’s explanation on what happened to him.

Some looked at Malayo as a “hero” saying he deserves a promotion, but others could not believe he just walked into the rebel position and convinced them to come with him.

“It sounded like a foolish thing to do. Flanked only by 3 other cops, Zamboanga City OIC police chief Senior Supt Jose Chiquito Malayo approached a group of 23 Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members and asked them to surrender,” said Rappler .com, an only news media.

“While we rejoice at the rescue of the total 149 hostages, we are deeply saddened by the report that city police director OIC Col Jose Chiquito Malayo is in the custory of the MNLF,” said Mayor Beng Climaco Salazar during the afternoon briefing of the Crisis Management Committee.

Based on the narration of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, these MNLF members may not be involved in the standoff with government troops.

They joined other groups of MNLF members who sailed to Zamboanga City supposedly believing that they were joining a peaceful rally. When the violence started, they supposedly retreated to the marshlands of Barangay Mampang. This is where Malayo bumped into them on Tuesday.

“We will know in the intel debrief,” Roxas said.

“Call it what you want, Malayo said, refusing to confirm or deny if he was taken as a hostage.

“You may use your term if I was hostaged or not,” he said.

“We were looking for the reported armed group. We bumped into them. We did not exchange gun fires, and we started talking,” Malayo said.

AN earlier report gathered by DZT disclosed that the police and military had engaged in a firefight with an undetermined number of MNLF rebels at the mangroves of Mampang that resulted in the wounding of SPO2 Amado Mirasol, who was was hit by an M79 grenade launcher shrapnel.

The same report said that Malayo and other officials rushed to the encounter site. When firefight stopped, he and some security escorts entered the mangroves where the rebels were positioned.

However, according to the report,  the 23 MNLF rebels suddenly approached Malayo and his men at gunpoint.

It was also learned that the rebels took Malayo’s cell phone and his uniform.

Malayo and his security escorts were reportedly brought to an undisclosed place.

During the Crisis Management Committee press briefing Tuesday, no less than Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas told newsmen that Malayo was seized by MNLF rebels.

MNLF spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla also confirmed that they held Malayo but refused to reveal where he was taken.

However, around 6 p.m. police and military went to Mampang and fetched Malayo and the 23 MNLF rebels.

Another version of the Malayo incident claimed the rebels did not hold Malayo hostage.

It sia that Malayo personally went to the group and voluntarily stayed with them while he was trying to convince them to surrender.

On the other hand, DZT gathered that those 23 men who went with Malayo were not regular MNLF fighters.

It was learned that they were from Parangbasak, Lamitan and were taken to Mampang by regular MNLF rebels.

Reportedly, the 23 persons were blamed for the ambush of some soldiers in Parangbasak, Lamitan last month.

When they were being hunted by the military, some regular MNLF rebels offered to bring them to an undisclosed island to elude arrest.

The 23 men boarded some pumpboats where they were concealed with canvas. They were surprised when they arrived in Mampang the other day where they were given guns to fight government forces. — Dan Toribio Jr.