PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 15 October 2013 13:59

Four more skeletal remains were recovered by government troops taking part in the delicate clearing operation of wide areas affected by the three-week armed confrontation starting Sept. 9 between government troops and MNLF followers of  Nur Misuari.

The clearing operation under Sector 2 that covered Barangay Sta. Barbara started at 8 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. last Sunday which resulted in the recovery of four skeletal remains believed to be that of MNLF rebels.

Aside from the human remains, the Task Force Suyod also recovered  two 90mm HEAT unexploded ordnance (UXO), one 57mm HEAT, three hand grenades; 12 40mm projectiles; one rifle grenade,  one  burned M16 rifle,  two magazines for M16 rifle,  one magazine for .45 caliber pistol and one magazine for 9mm pistol.

The recovered UXO were turned over to the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Explosive Ordnance Division (EOD),  while the burned M16 rifle and magazines were submitted to the Scene of the Crime Operation (SOCO), Regional Crime Laboratory Office 9. The skeletal remains were brought to the Villa funeral parlor for examination.

On October 3, nine bodies of suspected MNLF rebels were exhumed in Sta. Barbara and Sta. Catalina during clearing and retrieval operations.

Two of the bodies were dug-up inside the Sta. Barbara Elementary School.

It was learned that the two bodies were clad in camouflage combat attire with bullet wounds.

Around 6 p.m. of the same date, seven more bodies were exhumed in Sta. Catalina.

Two of the seven cadavers were identified as Usain Abdurahman and Akaram Ahmad, both of Parang, Sulu. They were identified through their  MNLF identification cards recovered from their possession as well as voter’s IDs. .

A .45 caliber pistol was also found in one of the two bodies.

On October 5, one charred body and several unexploded ordnance, grenades and firearms were retrieved by the Task Force Suyod at the Tres Alas warehouse in Sta. Catalina and at the Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology in Barangay Rio Hondo rbara Barangay Hall;  National Statistics Office and Sta. Barbara Mosque.

Around 11 a.m. of the same date, men of the Investigation Section led by Sr. Insp. Arlan Lim Delumpines, exhumed and retrieved another body believed to be of an MNLF member in Sta. Barbara.

Around 5:15 of the same date, the same team recovered skeletal remains at Lustre St., Barangay Sta. Catalina.

The remains was later identified as that of Fe Monaya y Verganio, 38, single and a resident  of 16A Lustre St.

She was positively identified by her brother and said that she died last September 12, 2013 .

Another unidentified skeletal remains of a woman was found at the back of the Ufana’s residence by the Task Force Suyod along Lustre St.

The clearing operation was temporarily stopped due to adverse weather condition then and it was resumed on Thursday in which two MNLF stragglers were killed in a brief gunfight with government troops.

Soldiers tried to convince the two rebels to surrender but the latter opened fire triggering a gunbattle.

The two rebels were hit in the body and died on the spot.

One of the two rebels was identified through his MNLF identification card as Nasser Dawili, 38, of Tulay, Jolo Sulu. The  other remained unidentified.

Soldiers of the 44th Infantry Battalion also recovered an M-16 rifle in a drainage canal and an AK-47 in a mangrove area during clearing operations in Barangay Santa Catalina.

Clearing operations have been undertaken since September 30, after the end of the crisis.

The Zamboanga City siege, which started Sept. 9 resulted in the deaths of 208 MNLF fighters. Twenty-four rebels surrendered, while were 270 captured. At least 20 soldiers were killed and 177 were wounded.  A total of195 hostages were rescued, while two were killed and nine wounded. —  Dan Toribio Jr.