Court frees 97 MNLF members in Zamboanga siege

Leizel Lacastesantos, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 28 2018 04:12 PM | Updated as of May 28 2018 07:53 PM

ZAMBOANGA CITY (UPDATED) - Ninety-seven members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who were involved in the deadly siege of Zamboanga City 5 years ago arrived here on Monday after a court ordered their release.

A court had ruled that the rebels, who belong to an MNLF faction led by the group's founder, Nur Misuari, served all penalties for sedition. They were fined P5,000 each.

Lourdes Francisco Omar was among those who waited for the MNLF members outside the Edwin Andrews Air Base. Her daughter was the only woman to be arrested over the siege.

"Wala namang nanay na turuan ang anak na gumawa ng masama." she said.

(No mother would teach her child to do wrong.)

Victims of the Zamboanga siege were unhappy over the decision of the court.

Evensina Imbing, whose house was destroyed, said some survivors still lived in shelters with inadequate water and electricity.

Based on the report of the City Social Welfare and Development Office, 257 families are still without permanent homes.

Mayor Beng Climaco, meanwhile, said she still hopes justice will be served to the victims of the Zamboanga siege.

"I am still positively hoping that justice will be served to the victims of the Zamboanga Siege and the remaining 100 MNLF accused shall be held accountable for the crimes committed," she said in a statement.

She also said she has ordered a thorough review of the city's security measures and directed the police and military in the city to coordinate with her office.