Mayor Ma. Isabelle Climaco-Salazar on Monday said she will never allow the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels to hoist the MNLF flag in this city.
“We are part of the sovereign Republic of the
Salazar issued the statement after Commander Hussin Hasimin, one of the leaders of Misuari group, disclosed over RMN-Zamboanga of their mission to march towards downtown to hoist the MNLF flag at the flagpole of the City Hall.
Hasimin’s group is holed up together with a group of hostages in the
So far, Salazar said a total of 220 people are being held hostage in the villages of Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, located some two km east of this city; and in Mampang, located some nine km. also east of this city.
Meanwhile, the sporadic firefight between government troops and the rebels have stopped for the past few hours already.
Six people, including a policeman and a navy sailor, were killed while 24 others were wounded in separate skirmishes here.
Salazar has called on the public to remain calm but vigilant and report the presence of people acting suspiciously in their respective localities.