ROGUE members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) released at least six civilian hostages as sporadic fighting continues in several villages in Zamboanga City, police said on Tuesday.
Senior Supt. Wilben Mayor, spokesman of the Philippine National Police (PNP), said that the hostages were released at about 7 a.m. in Barangay Talon-Talon one of the villages occupied by MNLF fighters loyal to former Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor and MNLF chairman Nur Misuari.
“The hostages were released following negotiation initiated by Senior Insp. Joseph Ortega, the chief of police station 6 of Zamboanga City,” Mayor said.
The PNP spokesman identified some of the released hostages as Mercedita Baldon, 45; Nurhisma, 18; Judith, 15; Aira, 7 and Binsal 9 and all are residents of Barangay Mamampang of the said city.
“All of the released hostages are now in the custody of Zamboanga City police office,” Mayor said.
The PNP spokesman said that the city government and the police would continue to impose curfew in the city until the situation in normalizes.
At least six people were killed and more than a dozen were wounded after more than 300 MNLF fighters stormed Zamboanga City dawn on Monday and declared their independence and own republic in Mindanao.
The MNLF fighters also took more than 200 civilians as hostages and human-shield against government security forces that were sent in the city to flush out the Moro rebels from the city. Anthony Vargas