Zambo City gov't: No rallies allowed
MANILA – The government of Zamboanga City on Sunday said it will not issue permits to rally amid the ongoing gunfight between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters.
"The City Government has not and will not issue permits for rallies or mass actions amidst these critical times," Zamboanga City government said in its official Twitter account.
"This is for the safety, protection of our people & to prevent infiltration or sabotage by enemies of the state."
The siege in Zamboanga entered its seventh day on Sunday, with some 53 people killed and 70 wounded.
About 69,000 people have been displaced by the ongoing fight between the MNLF fighters and elite government troops.
The government said between 50 and 100 MNLF fighters were still in the conflict areas, and "clearing" operations were being conducted to put the siege to an end.
At least 3,000 government troops were deployed to contain the situation.
Interior Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II said the fighters were still holding at least seven civilian hostages, down from the nearly 200 when the crisis erupted Monday last week.
Roxas said the incursion of the rebels are now limited to Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, and a part of Talon-Talon.
The MNLF fighters linked to the faction of the group's founding chairman, Nur Misuari, laid siege in the southern Mindanao city as the government was on the final stage of the finalizing its peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Misuari felt left out by the deal, saying the government seemed to have abandoned the previous peace deal it forged with the MNLF in 1996.