Soldiers begin to move out of Zamboanga
MANILA - Some of the soldiers who battled rebels from the Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) have already left Zamboanga City.
Some were emotional as some of their comrades died in the clashes while others would still have to stay to recuperate at the hospital.
Before the soldiers left, some of them received commendation for their gallantry in fighting against MNLF rebels and for rescuing a number of hostages.
Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco expressed her gratitude for the assistance extended by the government troops.
Meanwhile, more government offices and other key establishments have been reopened as security forces continue clearing operations in the conflict zone.
The Zamboanga City Medical Center and Southern City Colleges have also been turned over to their respective officials.
However, roads leading to the danger zones remain closed to the public.
Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) public affairs office chief Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala said the clearing operations are now focusing on finding and disarming bombs left behind by the MNLF fighters.
On Tuesday night, sporadic firefight could still be heard in the area. On Wednesday morning, another fire occurred in Barangay Rio Hondo. -- Reports from Queenie Casimiro, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga; ANC