• Palace wants Zambo siege financiers unmasked

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     Soldiers wearing gas masks look over bodies believed to be the remains of Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City, on Friday which was the site of heavy fighting between the MNLF and security forces earlier this week. AFP PHOTO

    Soldiers wearing gas masks look over bodies believed to be the remains of Moro National Liberation Front rebels in Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City, on Friday which was the site of heavy fighting between the MNLF and security forces earlier this week. AFP PHOTO

    The President wants the financier of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) siege in Zamboanga City unmasked.

    Palace spokesman Abigail Valte said on Friday that investigation was under way precisely to determine who backed the attack that began on Sept. 9 and triggered a humanitarian crisis in Zamboanga.

    Valte was pressed by reporters to react to the claim of Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago that Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile was behind the Zamboanga attack.

    In a statement released on Thursday, Santiago said Enrile bankrolled the MNLF siege to divert public attention from the plunder charges he faces in connection with the pork barrel scheme.

    But Valte refused to delve further into the Zamboanga conflict, saying the investigation was ongoing.

    ”It would be prudent for us not to comment on those particular allegations,” she said. “Let’s talk about it after the results of the investigation are released.”

    The Zamboanga standoff has claimed at least 140 lives and
    displaced up to 120,000 people.

    More than 200 have been injured.

    Santiago said she was “morally convinced” Enrile was involved “in engulfing Zamboanga City in an expensive rebellion.”

    She likened her Senate colleague to “a crocodile who has left his maritime kingdom and is flapping around on land, still hoping to kill his prey.”

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