Quote for the Week..

"Why are the country’s political leaders quick to act on amending the Constitution to change nationalistic provisions for the benefit of foreigners or to extend their terms of office but are allergic to amending the Constitution to address the people’s aspirations for self-determination?" - Marvic Leonen,Dean of the UP College of Law, in a keynote address delivered at the 1st International Solidarity Conference on Mindanao; March 16-18, 2009 in Davao City, Philippines.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

MSU exec seized; Moro rebels eyed

ILIGAN CITY, Philippines. Suspected Moro rebels under Abdurahman Macapaar, better known as Commander Bravo, seized an official of the Mindanao State University on Thursday afternoon, police said Friday.

Chief Superintendent Bensali Jabarani, director of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police, said Hipolito Miñoza, MSU budget officer, was on his way here when armed men flagged him down at 3:45 p.m. in the village of Bubong in Saguiaran, Lanao del Sur.

“We have not yet identified any group but we are not discounting the involvement of Commander Bravo in the incident,” Jabarani said referring to the commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), being hunted down for the Lanao del Norte attacks in August.

Several kidnapping incidents in Lanao have been blamed on Bravo and his men or on other MILF forces in the area.

They include the June kidnapping of 21 MSU teachers. The 20 teachers were freed shortly after the incident while the last one was released only after a few weeks.

Allegations that the MILF were into kidnapping in Lanao had been strongly disputed by the MILF hierarchy.

An Army official, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone that MSU officer Miñoza was actually with his wife, Yolanda, when he was kidnapped.

He said the gunmen purposely left Miñoza’s wife behind. She traveled back to Marawi and reported the incident to authorities.

Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Adiong Jr. said he already ordered the police to work with the military for the safe recovery of Miñoza, who is 60 years old.

Jabarani said they were investigating the motive behind the abduction as no ransom demand had been sent.

In Maguindanao, the military said MILF rebels strafed the house of a militiaman in Barangay Tambunan, Guindulongan town on Thursday evening.

Major Randolph Cabangbang, spokesperson of the Eastern Mindanao Command based in Davao City, told the Inquirer by phone that Manguda Bibingan was killed in the 8:35 p.m. attack, while his wife was wounded.

Cabangbang said the suspects were under Commander Ameril Ombra Kato, who is also being hunted down for leading attacks in North Cotabato in July and August. (Richel V. Umel and Jeoffrey Maitem, INQ.net)

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