POLICE and military intelligence operatives have began searching for the body of Ustadz Habier Malik, the trusted lieutenant of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder, Nur Misuari.
Malik is the commander of the MNLF rebels who attacked Zamboanga City for about three weeks last September, leaving more than a hundred people dead and injured.
The search for Malik’s body or burial place started following intelligence information that the MNLF commander died from gunshot wounds sustained during the clashes between government troops and MNLF fighters in Zamboanga City.
A police intelligence officer privy to the “search operations” for the burial place of the “slain” MNLF commander said that operatives are concentrating their efforts in an area somewhere in the municipality of Luuk in Sulu.
“We have received some information that he [Malik] was wounded in Zamboanga City and that he died from that wound and was buried somewhere in Luuk, Sulu,” the Manila-based police intelligence officer said.
The police intelligence officer said one of the information they received gave them an exact location of the place where Malik was buried by his followers shortly after he allegedly died.
“Our informants knew where he [Malik] was buried, but as of now, it’s pretty hard to get to that place,” the police intelligence officer said, but declined to elaborate further.
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said on Monday that there is a possibility that the MNLF commander was dead, although he admitted that they have no strong proof to back-up their claim.
Misuari, Malik and several MNLF members are facing rebellion charges before the Justice department in connection with the siege of Zamboanga City that started on September 9.