Rebel leader in Zamboanga siege captured


GOVERNMENT security forces captured one of the alleged leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who participated in the three-week siege of Zamboanga City.

Capt. Christian Uy, chief, Fourth Infantry Division Public Affairs Office, on Wednesday identified the rebel leader as Daniezl Cruz Xavier alias Salahudin Ibrahin Jaffam.

Uy said Jaffam was arrested by joint intelligence operatives from the Fourth and First Infantry Division and the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation Detection Group (CIDG) at West Bound Terminal, Barangay Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City early Tuesday morning by virtue of a warrant of arrest for rebellion, among others.

According to Uy, the suspect was personally introduced by MNLF Chairman Nur Misuari on several gatherings in Sulu prior to the Zamboanga attack.

Recovered from Jaffam were a laptop, three cellular phones and several fake identification cards representing him as a representative of the United Nations, a diplomat’s aide from the United States (US) Embassy and a US Navy, among others.

Also charged with rebellion and other crimes in connection with the Zamboanga siege were Misuari, MNLF Commanders Habier Malik, Ugong, Ismael, Dasta, Igir Misuari and Haider and several followers.

Ugong has surrendered while Igir Misuari was captured. Dasta and Haider were reportedly killed.

Misuari and Malik are still the subject of an ongoing manhunt by government forces, They are believed to be hiding in Sulu.

The Zamboanga siege started on September 9 when an estimated 200 to 300 MNLF members arrived on the coastal barangays of Rio Hondo and later spread to the nearby villages of Santa Barbara, Santa Catalina and Talon-Talon.

The violence killed 20 government troops while 177 were wounded.
On the MNLF side, 102 died, 45 surrendered and 72 were captured.


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