MANILA, Philippines—Military spokesman Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan said Zamboanga City “is slowly going back to normalization.”
Several banks and business establishments not directly affected by the fighting has opened since Wednesday. A commercial plane also landed in Zamboanga City for the first time after 10 days.
“We are optimistic that it will not (escalate) but then again this is not a 100-percent thing, probably there is a good percentage on that there is not going to be any further escalation because we have contained them,” Tutaan said.
The fighting erupted last Sept. 9, after MNLF forces tried to hoist their flag in the city hall. The group was believed to be backed by MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari with ground commander is Habier Malik.
“He is in that area where we are now conducting our clearing operations in Zamboanga City,” Tutaan said.
Asked where Misuari was, Tutaan said “he was believed to be in Sulu.”