A police team on Friday blasted their way into the home of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari who is accused of masterminding a deadly attack in a Zamboanga City, seizing documents and other items in the dawn raid.
Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca told Agence France Presse that officers had to use explosives to enter the locked residential compound belonging to Misuari on the outskirts of Zamboanga City.
“The Philippine National Police (PNP) were forced to deploy an access charge. No one was arrested,” said Huesca, the police spokesman for the southern region, adding that Misuari was not at the property.
Police have asked prosecutors to bring charges against Misuari and his followers, who fought street battles with police and troops in Zamboanga last month in which more than 200 people died.
Misuari is accused of sending armed MNLF followers to Zamboanga on September 9 to try to block a proposed peace deal between the government and the rival Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The government accused the gunmen of taking civilian hostages and setting fire to more than 10,000 homes.
It declared the rebel action crushed on Saturday with the release of the last of 195 hostages.
Huesca said police were ordered to arrest Misuari and seize munitions that may have been stored in the high-walled compound in a middle-class residential district about seven kilometers from the scene of the fighting.
Investigators seized documents and “other items” from the property, he said, refusing to give further details.
Malacañang warned people coddling Misuari that they would also be held responsible.
”There are offenses that have already been laid out in relevant penal laws when it comes to obstruction of justice, as well as other relevant offenses,” Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said.
Asked if Misuari is still in the country, Valte said, “I am not at liberty to share these things right now.”
She said a proposal to offer a bounty for the arrest of Misuari is still being discussed.
”However, I do understand that the CIDG (Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) in that area has already filed rebellion charges, as well as cases for violations of International Humanitarian Law in Zamboanga before the Office of the Prosecutor,” she added.