DND chief says military still determining status of Malik

October 1, 2013 10:25 am 

By Priam F. Nepomuceno & Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan

MANILA, Sept. 30 (PNA) — Due to the prepoderance of Moro National Liberation Front fighters killed in the 20-day combat in Zamboanga City, Department of National Defense (DND) secretary Voltaire Gazmin on Monday said that military units are still determining whether MNLF commander Habier Malik was among the around 180 plus rebels who have died during the battle.

"We cannot tell yet whether he was one among those killed or captured as our focus was the safe rescue of the hostages," he said in Filipino.

"What we have right now is his ID, we are identifying the (body) where the ID was recovered. It is now undergoing DNA, fingerprint, paraffin and other tests," Gazmin stressed.

He also added that they are validating reports that the latter has escaped to Sulu.

The DND chief declined to comment when MNLF founding chair Nur Misuari, who was identified by surviving MNLF fighters as the mastermind behind the Zamboanga City siege, will be charged, adding that this is the job of the Department of Justice and PNP.

"Well, what the (surviving) MNLF fighters said was that they were tasked by Misuari to march and raise the MNLF flag at the Zamboanga City hall. That's their basic mission," he added. (PNA)

/PFN/CLTC

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