AFP welcomes Misuari's help in rescue efforts for kidnap victims

RJ Rosalado, ABS-CBN News Zamboanga

Posted at Sep 30 2015 06:16 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2015 02:16 AM

ZAMBOANGA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) welcomes the help of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founder Nur Misuari in the rescue efforts for the three foreign nationals and a Filipina abducted on Samal Island, Davao del Norte.

The commander of Joint Task Group Zamboanga-Basilan-Sulu-Tawi-tawi (ZamBaSulTa), Rear Admiral Primitivo Gopo, said they welcome any help from different sectors, even from the group of Misuari, who is facing criminal charges in connection with the Zamboanga siege in 2013.

(READ: Duterte asks Misuari to help free hostages)

Gopo, however, declined to comment on the possible legal implications that could crop up.

Misuari has a standing arrest warrant for a case of rebellion and violation of the International Humanitarian Law.

Some of the former victims of the Zamboanga siege also expressed concern over Misuari's participation in the rescue efforts.

Jimmy Villaflores, barangay chairman of Santa Catalina, said it is morally incorrect to allow Misuari to negotiate with the abductors for the safe release of the four captives.

Villaflores said Misuari should face first his criminal charges in court and answer for all the damages he caused in Zamboanga City, including the hundreds of lives wasted during the almost one month of crisis.

He said he is also worried that Misuari might use this favor to push for the grant of amnesty.

(READ: Amnesty for Nur Misuari sought)

Meanwhile, Gopo said they still cannot confirm if the victims were indeed taken to Sulu, a known stronghold of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

The Abu Sayyaf has been responsible for the series of kidnapping of foreign nationals in Mindanao, extortion activities, and attacks on public places.