MNLF seizes Zamboanga police chief

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Government troops man an intersection where renewed fighting between government forces and Muslim rebels enters its second week Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 at Zamboanga city in southern Philippines. The standoff, which began last Monday when troops foiled an attempt by the rebels to march and hoist their flag at Zamboanga’s city hall. The rebels, who arrived by boat from outlying islands, barged into five coastal villages and took more than 100 hostages as human shields. AP/Bullit Marquez

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines—Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels have seized this city’s police chief and his men before noon Tuesday, military officials said.

Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo, the city police director, was being used as human shield by the MNLF rebels who were still holding other hostages in the remaining pockets they controlled in five coastal villages in Zamboanga City, Senior Superintendent Edwin de Ocampo, logistics officer of the police in Western Mindanao, confirmed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“He is alive. We have spoken to him over radio communication,” de Ocampo said.

A radio report, quoting de Ocampo, said that Malayo was abducted in the village of Arena Blanco.

Acting public affairs office chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Lieutenant Colonel Harold Cabunoc confirmed that Malayo was abducted by the followers of Nur Misuari.

“We have received informal reports through a text message that Police Senior Superintendent Chiquito Malayo was abducted by followers of Misuari,” Cabunoc told INQUIRER.net.

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