Body bearing Malik’s ID not his – PNP chief
MANILA, Philippines—The body in which an identification card of Habier Malik was found is not his, a Philippine National Police official said.
“Napag alaman natin sa mga taong may hawak ng ID na hindi po s’ya si Habier Malik (We learned from people who have custody of the ID that the body is not Malik’s),” PNP chief, Director General Alan Purisima told reporters in an ambush interview at Camp Crame.
Authorities were trying to determine whether Malik, the most prominent of the seven Moro National Liberation Front commanders who led the siege, was dead. Troops found Malik’s rebel identification card in one of the clothes of a slain rebel who resembled him, sparking speculation that he may have been killed.
Purisima said authorities were still trying to determine whether Malik was among those killed and buried by collecting DNA samples.
“Lahat ng mga… namatay sa lugar na iyon [kukuhanan ng] mga DNA tissues para ma-compare natin yung kanyang DNA… [or] siguro [sa] mga ibang kamag-anak nya or what para ma-determine natin kung sino talaga si Habier Malik,” Purisima said.
There are also reports that Malik may have already left Zamboanga City before the military launched a full-scale offensive at conflict areas in the city last week.
The standoff between government troops and MNLF rebels started on September 9 and lasted for about three weeks.
Clearing operations were still ongoing.
An AP report, meanwhile, said the military has said that the slain rebel was Malik’s aide, who also kept his international driver’s license and temporary resident’s certificate in Saudi Arabia, where the rebel commander once lived with his wife. The official, who was involved in efforts to identify the slain rebels, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. With a report from AP
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