ZSCMST student recounts MNLF hostage-taking, how he escaped PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 10:54

“Hadlok gud ta mamatay ani! (We were so afraid that we would be killed at the time we were held hostage).”

Ednemark Confessor admitted that he felt like it was his time to die as he was held hostage by the Moro National Liberal Front (MNLF) Misuari faction during the start of the Zamboanga crisis last Sept.9.

This  22 -yearold  Marine Engineering student of Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST) shared his experience of the siege in an interview with Discovery Zamboanga , a group of local development communicators.

He is staying in a boarding house as he is  from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay.

Confessor never thought that in his second year of studying at ZSCMST, he would experience such a  frightening situation.

He could not imagine that after being hostage for finally days, he  finally got freed after escaping from the hands of the MNLFs.

Confessor said he  could still recall those times that they were forced by the MNLFs to hold and wave white flags and crying out for ceasefire whenever the government troops tried to enter the rebels’ area and started shooting towards their direction.

On the third day of the siege, Confessor said they felt they were already  used to the sounds of gunfire and explosions.

He could still recall one rebel leader telling them “Huwag kayo mag-alala… di naming kayo saktan… dito lang muna kayo magtambay (referring to their hiding place in Lustre St.) makuha lang namin gusto namin, pakawalan na namin kayo  [Don’t you worry —the moment we get what we want we will set you free.]”

However, on the fourth day of the siege the firefights between the rebels and government troops became more intense, and when they were all startled on what to do to be able to survive. Ednemark looked for a way to escape, but he was shot at his right heel.

But he was really determined to find a way out, so he tried to crawl and look for a safe place to hide. Luckily, he saw a comfort room, he tried his best to get inside the CR and there he prayed that the MNLFs would not look for him.

After minutes of gunfight, he heard some men shouting that they were rescuers. Ednemark was thankful yet doubtful that what if those were not real rescuers but rebels instead.

He observed first and checked. And when he felt sure that those were  government troops, he went out of the CR and asked for help.

But he was not entertained right away because the policemen were accusing him as one of the MNLF men. But he defended himself, saying  “Hinde yo pamparon, sir… habla lang yo, sir… estudyante ako ng Fisheries (ZSCMST), sir… hindi ako magaling mag-Chabacano, sir kasi Bisaya po ako.”

The policemen then believed on what he was saying, so he was then brought to the Southern City Colleges for first aid, then transferred to  the Western Mindanao State University gymnasium  and later moved to the  Ciudad Medical Zamboanga for admission.

Despite the tragic hostagetaking  he went through, Ednemark said he preferred not to focus on it and instead pretended that  he was not traumatized; yet believed and be thankful that God gave  him second chance to live.

He said the moment his bullet wound in the heel gets healed , he will not waste time but continue with his ambition to be a seaman.

“The Zamboanga Crisis’ sad memories will never be hindrances to my ambition,” Confessor added. — Reeza May V. Laquihon/Discovery Zamboanga