MNLF: We seized Zambo City police chief
ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) declared Zamboanga City police chief Senior Supt Chiquito Malayo and his two security escorts as "prisoners of war."
"They were captured by our ground forces," said Emmanuel Fontanilla, spokesman of the MNLF, on Tuesday, September 17.
"He led the clearing in the area of Sta Catalina. Yung pag advance nya sa unahan duon na sya na-captured. Yes nag-positioning and mga troopa kasi wala nang mataguan sa Sta Barbara at Sta Catalina kaya sinunog na ng AFP/PNP," Fontanilla said. (When they advanced that's when he was captured.)
The local police however said Malayo was seized in Mampang village, which is beside Sta Catalina. Malayo rushed to a mangrove area in Mampang to secure the safety of hostages, according to a PNP report in Camp Crame.
Heavy fighting ensued in Mampang after his abduction, prompting residents to flee.
Refusing to disclose the location of the rebel custodian unit, Fontanilla said the captured cops are in a safe place.
But as of 4 pm, intelligence sources, quoting informants, said the MNLF brought Malayo and his escorts towards Tigtabon, an island off Barangay Arena Blanco.
Sources here earlier said Malayo was abducted by the MNLF Tuesday morning. Mayor Isabelle Climaco also confirmed Malayo's abduction.
The abduction comes on the day the military boasted it has cleared most of the villages occupied by the MNLF rebels. President Benigno Aquino III himself is still here; he arrived last Friday, September 13.
"The cops were transferred to a safe place to also ensure their security and rights as guaranteed by the Geneva Convention and the International Humanitarian Law," Fontanilla said.
The MNLF said their present demands to stop the hostilities and for government to release the captives include a negotiation for a political resolution of the conflict.
But Indonesia, which brokered the 1996 peace agreement between the Ramos government and the MNLF, has already kept a distance from the conflict.
At least 115 people have either been rescued or released from the battle zone here in the last 24 hours, as the siege entered its 9th day.
On Monday, September 16, the military declared that 70% of the battle zone had been cleared. - Rappler.com
We keep you informed because you matter
We tell you the stories that matter. We ask, we probe, we explain.
But as we strive to do all this and speak truth to power, we face constant threats to our independence.
Help us make a difference through free and fearless journalism. With your help, you enable us to keep providing you with our brand of compelling and investigative work.
Joining Rappler PLUS allows us to build communities of action with you. PLUS members will receive our editorial newsletters and industry reports, get to join exclusive online conversations with our award-winning journalists, and be part of our monthly events.
Make your move now. Join Rappler PLUS.