Priest held hostage by MNLF freed
Manila, Philippines – Father Michael Ufana, one of the people held hostage by the Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga City since the standoff started Monday, has been released, authorities said on Friday.
Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesman Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala confirmed to INQUIRER.net that the priest was freed but refused to give details for operational reasons.
Senior Superintendent Jose Bayani Gucela of the Directorate for Integrated Police Operations also confirmed Ulana’s release.
Gucela said the priest was undergoing medical check up and debriefing.
There was also no word if Ufana would be presented to President Beningo Aquino, who was scheduled to arrive in Zambonga City this Friday.
Msgr. Chris Manongas, Zamboanga Archdiocese Administrator, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM, said the priest was freed this Friday morning “with certain conditions.”
“He (Ufana) was released just this morning (Friday morning),” he said, adding that the priest will be brought to Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.
Manongas said there was no word yet about the condition of other hostages by the MNLF.
Ufana was just one of the hostages by the MNLF in Sta. Catalina village. According to Mayor Beng Climaco, the MNLF has infiltrated six of 98 villages in Zamboanga City where there is an ongoing standoff between government troops and MNLF. Julie S. Alipala, Inquirer Mindanao
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