ZAMBOANGA CITY – Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) gunmen freed Monday all their eight hostages following the release of three abducted daughters of the group’s leaders in Basilan.
Officials said MNLF leader Hassan Duwalay alias Commander Addang released the hostages in Tipo-Tipo town a day after his daughters Umma, Kelma and Pubu Duwalay – who had been abducted also on July 9 in Lamitan City – were freed.
“The release of the hostages is the result of joint efforts between the military and other stakeholders and we are glad it’s all over and peacefully settled,” said Brig. Gen. Felicito Virgilio Trinidad, commander of the 1st Infantry Division.
The former rebels raid the village of Bohe Baca on July 11 and seized a dozen residents. Among those taken by the raiders were seven minors, including an infant, who were freed following a negotiation led by Lt. Col. Paolo Perez, commander of the 18th Infantry Battalion, and village officials.
Capt. Jefferson Somera, a regional army spokesman, said the abductions were triggered by a long family feud that stemmed from a land conflict.