Zambo City police chief released - PNP
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (5th UPDATE) - Zamboanga City police chief Senior Supt Jose Chiquito Malayo is now in safe hands and has left the area where he was initially brought by members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), local police officials said Tuesday, September 17.
Malayo was able to persuade more than a dozen MNLF members to surrender, according to the same officials.
Released with Malayo at 6 pm Tuesday were P03 Ali Jen Dacumos and PO2 Jeamil Alvarez as well as unidentified civilian armed volunteers, according to a local police report.
ABS-CBN's Jorge Cariño, quoting Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, told TV Patrol that Malayo is with 23 MNLF members and that they were on their way back to the city.
Was Malayo indeed held hostage by the rebels?
On Tuesday morning, Malayo attempted to secure the release of some hostages in Barangay Mampang. It was there where MNLF members abducted him, according to local police.
MNLF spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla later confirmed they had abducted him and his two security escorts.
Not against his will
But when interviewed by reporters Tuesday evening at the Western Mindanao Command headquarters, Malayo clarified that he approached the area to convince them to surrender and that he was not held against his will.
A 1989 graduate of the Philippine Military Academy, Malayo spent many years in Mindanao although he's from the Negros provinces.
"He's a very simple man, masang-masa at madaling makisama," says one PMA classmate. (He gets along well with people.)
The abduction and subsequent release of Malayo came on the 9th day of the Zamboanga siege.
The death toll from more than a week of clashes between government troops and members of the MNLF rose to 99 on Tuesday. Three soldiers and 30 MNLF rebels were killed during heavy fighting over the past 24 hours, military spokesman Lt Col Ramon Zagala said. - Rappler.com