By LEILA D. VICENTE
ABS-CBN News, Zamboanga
ZAMBOANGA CITY -- The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader who led the Cabatangan hostage crisis in November 2001 passed away over the weekend.
Hadji Julhambri Misuari reportedly had a stroke due to hypertension and died Saturday. Following Muslim rites, Misuari was buried Sunday in Semut, Tuburan town.
Misuari is the nephew of MNLF founder Nur Misuari. He was considered one of the MNLF's "big commanders".
Meanwhile, most of Misuari’s victims during the Cabatangan hostage crisis preferred not to comment regarding his death.
However, Bong Bue, a former hostage of Misuari's group, told ABS-CBN Zamboanga through a text message that his family felt sorry about Julhambri's death.
He added that they have already forgiven the rebel leader.
Misuari's friend, Ustadz Sharif Julabbi, said the death of Hadji Julhambri is a great loss to the MNLF hierarchy.
In Novermber 2001, Misuari led more than 300 breakaway MNLF members and took hostage at least 100 people in Cabatangan complex, Zamboanga City. After negotiations, the rebels eventually released the hostages.