MNLF Commander Habier Malik 'moving from house to house' – AFP official
“We believe that Commander Malik is still here [Zamboanga City] and that now they are currently moving from house to house,” military information chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala told GMA News TV's News to Go in an interview.
But Zagala refused to disclose the exact location of Malik, even as he assured the public that the military is fully committed to finding the elusive MNLF leader.
At present, the military is conducting clearing operations in Zamboanga City while they are tracking Malik.
“'Yung KGK Building po ay hawak na po natin. Cleared na po natin 'yan,” Zagala said.
“Itong mga na-encounter natin sa Mampang, these are the forces that fled. Nanggaling 'yan dito sa Sta Catalina, Sta Barbara area,” Zagala said, adding: “So hindi po 'yan reinforcement, liliwanagin ko lang. Sila po ay tumatakas na umabot hanggang Mampang.”
It was earlier reported that MNLF reinforcements were the ones who abducted Senior Superintendent Jose Chiquito Malayo in Barangay Mampang. He was released hours later.
Malayo has since denied that he was abducted, saying he had walked into the MNLF lines in order to ask them to release the hostages and for them to stop fighting.
A total of 150 hostages have either been rescued by authorities or released by the MNLF gunmen. Four other hostages have escaped from custody. — with Andrei Medina/RSJ, GMA News