Marawi police chief taken by MILF members freed

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/6 December)—The chief of police in Marawi City, Supt. Christopher Panapan, was freed Friday noon hours after he was abducted by members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a military official said.

Col. Glen Macasero, commander of the Army’s 103rd Infantry Brigade, said that a certain Malik was killed after the group stormed the Marawi City police station at around 12:15 am.

He said that around 40 MILF members raided the police station to rescue two MILF members detained on charges of illegal possession of firearms.

The group, taking the police chief as hostage, escaped towards Balindong, Lanao del Sur on board motorized boats in Lake Lanao, Macasero said on the phone.

Panapan was released after the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF, together with the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT), negotiated for his release, Macasero said.

“Superintendent Panapan was shaken but he was not harmed by the suspects,” Macasero said.

He said the group came undetected on board several motorized boats and raided the Marawi police station, which is near the shoreline of Lake Lanao.

Macasero said that residents heard heavy gunfire and an explosion when the gunmen raided the police station.

“The electricity of the entire building went off according to the witnesses,” Macasero narrated.

He identified the rescued MILF members as Johani Cadir and Mesron Borodon, who were arrested several days ago by the Marawi police carrying unlicensed caliber .45 and caliber .380 pistols.

Due to the incident, Macasero said they filed a complaint with the joint CCCH of the government and the MILF.

“It appeared that this action was not sanctioned by the MILF leadership. They were out to free their comrades,” he said.

The incident happened as the GPH and the MILF peace panels are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the conduct of the 42nd Exploratory Talks.

Presidential Peace Adviser Teresita Quintos-Deles said that after they were informed of the incident, the GPH peace panel immediately raised the matter to its MILF counterpart for urgent action.

“Our ceasefire and security mechanisms on the ground established for matters such as this were immediately put to work and deployed to the area of the incident,” she said in a statement.

Deles lauded the CCCH, the IMT and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), which constitute the GPH-MILF ceasefire and security mechanisms, for the crucial role they played in securing the safe release of Panapan.

“These mechanisms prevented the possible escalation of hostilities that might have compromised the existing ceasefire between GPH and the MILF,” she said.

“We give due recognition to our local security forces for their command and restraint on the ground that enabled the peaceful resolution of the incident, and to local government officials who worked together with the ceasefire mechanism,” Deles said.

“We also give due recognition to the MILF leadership for working with us on this matter. At this point in time when we are in the last stage of the negotiations towards the completion of a comprehensive agreement, it is important that we are able to prove that we have control over our forces, and can protect our communities in our commitment to deliver the much deserved peace and development in the region,” she said. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)

URL: http://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2013/12/06/marawi-police-chief-taken-by-milf-members-freed/


Instagram #OurMindanao

Related Posts