Palace condemns Zambo clash; boat, air trips disrupted-A A +A
Monday, September 9, 2013
(Updated) MANILA -- Malacañang condemned on Monday the attack by alleged members of the Moro National Liberation Front on Zamboanga City, even as President Benigno Aquino III received updates on the situation.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda issued a statement condemning the attack.
"We condemn the attack on Zamboanga City in the strongest possible terms. It is incumbent on all people of goodwill to reject the violence that has erupted," he said.
Lacierda said the ongoing attack of armed individuals in Zamboanga City, including initial reports of the possible use of civilians as human shields, is a "cause for great concern."
In the meantime, he asked the public to "refrain from spreading speculation."
Zamboanga City Mayor Isabelle Climaco spoke to President Benigno Aquino III regarding the deadly predawn clash there.
"Mayor Beng Climaco now on the phone speaking to President Aquino," the City Government said in a tweet.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay urged religious leaders on Monday to help diffuse tension between the military and alleged MNLF members who launched a dawn attack and held civilians as hostages in Zamboanga City.
"It is not too late for the hostage-takers to sit down and talk to the government to seek redress for their grievances,” she said.
Binay then appealed to MNLF leaders Nur Misuari and Haber Malik to order their men to release the hostages, especially the children, women and the elderly.
Meanwhile, flights in and out Zamboanga City have been cancelled by Philippine Airlines (PAL) to ensure the safety of its passengers amid the ongoing security concerns there.
The cancelled PAL Express flights are Manila-Zamboanga-Manila scheduled for Monday night and flights bound for Jolo, Davao and Cebu.
Passengers of these flights may arrange for a rebooking or refund with any PAL or PAL Express ticket office.
In an advisory, Cebu Pacific said it canceled its flight from Tawi-Tawi to Zamboanga City and put on hold its other scheduled flights to and from there for the day.
"Due to the current security situation in Zamboanga, CEB has cancelled flight 5J 840 Tawi-Tawi to Zamboanga this morning. The rest of the flights to and from Zamboanga today have been put on hold," it said.
Cebu Pacific advised affected passengers to rebook their flights within 30 days with no penalties, or opt for full travel fund or full refund.(JK/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)