From GMA News (Sep 9): Zambo 'attack' a response to Misuari arrest info — MNLF official
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters went to Zamboanga City on Monday
morning not to attack the city but as a response to an "unusual" military
movement there to arrest MNLF founder Nur Misuari, the group's advocacy director
Interviewed by GMA News Online, John Petalcorin described the MNLF
presence in Zamboanga City as a "pre-emptive response" to the supposed "large"
troop movement in the city.
"Mayroon raw nakita na unusual large troops
movement. They thought they're going to arrest Nur Misuari. The MNLF responded
to protect him, to move him somewhere else," Petalcorin said by phone.
said they received information that government security forces were deployed in
Zamboanga City to arrest five MNLF members, including Misuari.
said Misuari did not order their men to enter Zamboanga City, adding the
military should explain why they deployed troops to the area.
military, on the other hand, confirmed that five MNLF members were arrested by
the police in Zamboanga City on Sunday for possession of illegal
In a separate phone interview, Armed Forces public affairs
office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the MNLF were the first ones to deploy
their troops—around 300 to 400 armed members—in Zamboanga City allegedly to
hoist their flag in the city hall.
“Sila ang nag-move in. They should be
the one to explain why they sent 400 armed men early morning. Their objective is
to proceed to the city hall and raise their flag," Zagala said.
military said MNLF followers had occupied the city hall, hoisted their flag, and
at least 20 civilians as hostages.
Zagala linked the alleged attack
to the MNLF's declaration of independence weeks ago — an allegation Petalcorin
"We declared it in a very peaceful way. Walang relationship sa
MNLF declaration of independence 'yan," Petalcorin said, adding the MNLF
fighters may have chosen to enter the city hall to divert the conflict from the
Asked about the hostages, Petalcorin said they have no
information on this. "Ang MNLF, gagawin ang dapat gagawin to survive," he only
Zamboanga City Mayor Isabella Climaco-Salazar, citing information
from the Zamboanga City Police, said six people have already been killed in
the violence, while 24 others were wounded.