Latest Stories

MNLF: We’re in control of 7 Zambo City villages


MANILA, Philippines – At least seven villages in Zamboanga City have fallen into the hands of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) after an encounter with government troops early Monday, its spokesman claimed Monday.

“What we confirmed is that seven villages had fallen and one Sta. Barbara [police] station has been manned by the MNLF,” said MNLF spokesperson, Atty. Emmanuel Fontanilla, in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM.

Asked if what he meant by “fallen” was that Philippine authorities no longer had control over the areas, Fontanilla answered yes.

The spokesperson also said yes to the question on whether the seven villages were Mariki, Rio Hondo, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan, Talon-Talon, and Tugbungan.

“We have embedded members inside Zamboanga. That is why [MNLF] movement has been very easy,” Fontanilla said.

But Police Chief Superintendent Juanito Vaño Jr., Region IX police director, in a separate interview also with Radyo Inquirer 990AM, said they have only monitored the presence of  MNLF in Sta. Catalina.

Vaño said they have also regained control of Rio Hondo.

Misuari escorts and MNLF flags

Earlier, Fontanilla said the clash, which left at least one dead and several injured, was triggered when government troops engaged escorts of MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari.

He said they “have no plan whatsoever to resort to violent means” but will be forced to defend themselves if government forces attack.

The lawyer cited various reasons for their movement into the city, one was the arrest of an MNLF member without coordination with the peace-keeping committee and another was the local government prohibiting them from holding a “peace rally” in the city.

The Philippine Information Agency posted on Twitter that the MNLF were putting up their flags in the city.

Fontanilla confirmed the report but said the taking of hostages was not true.

He said the MNLF has long been putting up flags in areas they have occupied and that the practice was probably forgotten by the public.

“We have to repeat it in order to show to the whole world that during the ceasefire agreement we have some areas that we have already controlled,” Fontanilla said.

Asked on why they were claiming Zamboanga City which is not part of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Fontanilla said the MNLF represents the entire Mindanao.

In July this year, Inquirer Mindanao reported that MNLF posters and flags were being displayed in Zamboanga City, with unofficial stories of the group declaring “independence.” But MNLF Islamic Command Council chair Habib Mudjahab Mashim denied the rumors.

Fontanilla also clarified that the flags being put up were of the MNLF and not of an independent Mindanao.

Back to square one?

With the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the MNLF and its factions have been asking how this will affect their own peace pact finalized in 1996.

The MNLF said the government should reconcile the two agreements and address conflicts through the 1996 peace agreement’s tripartite review by the government, the MNLF and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC).

However, Fontanilla claimed that last Friday, “the peace-keeping committee called our presence…sinabi na the government has sent closure to the tripartite review and the OIC cannot force the government to conduct the negotiation…Because they are asserting that all of the agreements were already implemented.”

(However, Fontanilla claimed that last Friday, “the peace-keeping committee called our presence…and said the government has sent closure to the tripartite review and the OIC cannot force the government to conduct the negotiation…Because they are asserting that all of the agreements were already implemented.”)

The lawyer said there are still provisions under their peace pact that were not implemented by the Philippine government – “the question on plebiscite, the questions on territory, the questions of provisional government and of course wealth sharing.”

He said the news prompted them to return to their “former aspiration that is independence.” He, however, did not explain what their next moves will be.

Fontanilla said the Indonesian government should likewise revive the OIC’s ceasefire committee as they wanted to resolve the issues in a peaceful way.

Related Stories:

MNLF holding up to 30 hostages

MNLF: We’re in control of 7 Zambo City villages

MNLF posters, flags in Zamboanga City suggest talk of ‘independence’

MNLF to gov’t: What about our pact?

MNLF, BIFF joining forces to push own Moro independence, says MILF



Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: armed conflicts , Conflict , Military , MNLF , Peace Talks , Philippines , Violence , Zamboanga City

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • 2 killed in apparent Bahrain car bombing
  • SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  • At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter
  • Solons seek ample protection for bank depositors
  • Tragedies at sea: The Sewol and the Costa Concordia
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace