Relative appeals to MNLF for hostages' release
MANILA -- A relative of some of the hostages taken by members of the Nur Misuari-led faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Zamboanga City is appealing for their immediate release.
In an interview with ANC's "Dateline Philippines," the woman, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, said 15 of her relatives were taken hostage by the MNLF.
The age of her relatives range from 3 to 54 years old, she said.
She said she is particularly worried about her eldest sister, 54, who is suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
"Gusto ko pong malaman kung ano talaga ang sitwasyon nila doon, kung pinapakain ba sila... Worried po talaga ako," she said.
She said her sister was able to send them a text message at around 6:20 a.m. today, saying that they were sill being held hostage at the Alliance Church in Lustre, Sta. Catalina.
She is appealing to members of the MNLF group led by Misuari to release her relatives and all the other hostages.
"Sana i-release na nila yung mga hostage kasi wala po talaga silang kasalanan, especially po yung mga bata, yung mga may sakit," she said.
"Sana po maawa talaga sila," she added.
Around 170 civilians are still being kept hostage by the MNLF, Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said.
Violence erupted anew between MNLF rebels and government forces in Barangay Sta. Barbara before dawn Tuesday, the second day of the standoff.