Troops find MNLF uniforms-A A +A
By Bong Garcia
Sunday, September 29, 2013
GOVERNMENT troops have recovered several pairs of uniforms owned by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels while conducting clearing operations Sunday afternoon in Zamboanga City.
The uniforms were recovered just outside the eastern perimeter fence of the government-run Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC), the first site inspected by the police and military explosive ordnance demolition (EOD) personnel.
Zamboanga Peninsula police information officer Chief Inspector Ariel Huesca said the clearing operation is done to ensure that there are no unexploded munitions within the hospital premises.
The EOD personnel inspected all of the hospital buildings, including the roofs, to ensure the place is safe for occupancy again.
ZCMC chief Dr. Romeo Ong said in a separate interview that they envision to re-open the hospital as soon as possible.
"We want to re-open as soon as possible...as soon as we clear the area, meaning we clean, we disinfect and we'll prepare all the equipments," Ong said.
The ZCMC was closed at the height of the standoff, since it is very close to the site of hostilities between the government forces and MNLF rebels.
The hospital is located at the corner of Veterans Avenue and Dr. Evangelista Street and is geographically located in the village of Sta. Catalina.
It is just around 150 meters away from Lustre Street, Sta. Catalina, where hundreds of MNLF rebels have positioned at the height of the standoff.
After ZCMC was closed, the gymnasium of the government-run Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) was converted into an emergency satellite hospital.
The ZCMC patients were either transferred to the government-run Mindanao Central Sanitarium in the village of Pasobolong, and to some of the private hospitals in the city.
Ong said they have to re-open the hospital the soonest possible time for the convenience of their patients.
"We are really having a hard time, especially the patients," Ong said.
He said they have yet to assess whether there were damaged equipment, although he was initially informed by the security and some hospital personnel that the equipment are intact.
He said the newest equipment they have is the P70-million Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), which was given to them by the City Government.
Ong said the MRI was not installed yet since it arrived in the evening of September 8. The standoff started September 9.
Earlier, he disclosed that the ZCMC has been utilized by the government forces as an advance medical post at the height of the standoff.
The clearing operations started Sunday, a day after National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin declared the standoff was over.