Pamatong accused of forced MNLF recruitment

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 16 2014 01:53 AM | Updated as of Aug 16 2014 10:13 AM

CAGAYAN DE ORO -- Residents of a barangay in Cagayan de Oro City were allegedly harassed by Ely Pamatong, who claims to be the lawyer of fugitive Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari.

Pamatong, who rose to infamy in 2004 after his supporters scattered steel spikes on EDSA following his derailed presidential bid, allegedly harassed residents to force them to join the MNLF.

Those who do not want to join were forced to leave the area, villagers said.

They added that Pamatong was claiming that the 10,000 square-meter land is owned by a certain "Kumander Lahi."

Many of the residents, like Marino Rivera, said they have land titles to prove their ownership.

A dialogue was held between Pamatong and the residents of the compound on Thursday.

Pamatong denied the villagers' allegations and said the residents are welcome to stay in the compound. -- report from Maricel Butardo, ABS-CBN News Northern Mindanao