^

MNLF claims SAF's Jemaah Islamiyah target still alive

Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - January 28, 2015 - 4:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — Secessionist group Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Wednesday claimed that terror suspect Zulkifli Abd Hir, better known as Marwan, was not killed in Sunday's bloodbath in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Emmanuel Fontanilla, spokesperson for the MNLF, said the Malaysian bomb-maker believed to have been hiding in Mindanao since 2003 was not neutralized in the Philippine National Police Special Action Force's (SAF) operation, where 44 police commandos were killed.

"Ang pagkakaalam namin ay yung kanilang subject ay wala po doon," Fontanilla said in a dzMM interview on Wednesday.

READ: Int'l terrorist in Maguindanao: Who is Marwan?

It is not the first time Marwan is believed to have died. In February 2012, the Armed Forces said Marwan was slain in an air strike in an Abu Sayyaf lair in Jolo, Sulu. Two years later, however, authorities admitted the suspected Jemaah Islamiyah operative had escaped.

On Tuesday, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II had said there was a "high likelihood" that the body of Marwan, the operation's main target, was the one photographed by SAF members.

Roxas said that the SAF men were not able to bring Marwan's body as they were under heavy gunfire.

"May mga pictures, at ang mga pictures na ito ay dadaan sa proseso kung ito nga si Marwan, hindi ko masabi kung yung nasa picture nga ay si Marwan," Roxas said.

Fontanilla said, however, that police intelligence was mistaken when it led units to what appeared to be an enclave of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, members of whom exchanged fire with the elite police forces.

"Nasa Lanao po [si Marwan], nasa Lanao. Mali yung intelligence nila e 'di dapat nagtanong sila sa amin," he said.

"Mayroon din po kaming intelligence po, kasi ang mga taong ito, MILF, BIFF, MNLF, magkakaisa ho iyan e, mga magkakamag-anak iyan e. Mismong mga kamag-anak nila nagsasabi sa amin wala d'yan," Fontanilla added.

As the policemen were retreating to a nearby village last Sunday, they were ambushed by members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, whose members are former MILF fighters.

The MILF is a breakaway group of the MNLF. It has struck a preliminary accord with the government to create a new autonomous Bangsamoro region currently being deliberated in Congress.

ABU SAYYAF ARMED FORCES BANGSAMORO ISLAMIC FREEDOM FIGHTERS EMMANUEL FONTANILLA FONTANILLA IN FEBRUARY INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SECRETARY MANUEL JEMAAH ISLAMIYAH MARWAN ROXAS
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with