Operation launched to rescue Zambo police chief, others-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
ZAMBOANGA CITY (2nd Update, 5:50 p.m.) -- Troops launched operations Tuesday to rescue the city’s police chief and his companions who were seized by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels amid the ongoing standoff here.
Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, as well as police and military officials, however, refused to disclose details of the rescue efforts, citing operational matters.
Philippine National Police Deputy Director-General Felipe Rojas Jr. said that talks have also been initiated for the safe release of Zamboanga City Police officer-in-charge Jose Chiquito Malayo and his companions.
He said Malayo and his companions were seized several minutes after a firefight broke out around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at a mangrove area in Sitio Bagtus, Barangay Mampang, nine kilometers east of this city.
The police chief and his companions were seized by some 20 Basilan-based MLNF rebels who joined the Sulu-based rebels in infiltrating this city.
Rojas said "they ended up surrounded and hostage" when Malayo tried to convince the Basilan-based rebels to surrender.
Radio and television reports said the rebels holding Malayo and his companions in custody boarded motorized bancas and sped toward Tictabon, an island village 8.5 kilometers east of this city.
Government officials did not reveal though who were and how many other government forces the MNLF seized together with Malayo.
Local television reports said the other are policemen, soldiers and militiamen. (Sunnex)