THE government has not set a timetable when to end the Zamboanga City standoff but assured the public that security forces will continue to push forward until all the hostages are freed, the Palace said on Friday.
“On the side of the government, we will continue to push forward what we have been doing in the past days, which is to make sure that none of the citizens are harmed or put in harm’s way,” Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing in Malacanang on Friday.
The military and the police will continue to constrict the movements of the rebels and the President has asked for an inquiry to determine why the MNLF fighters still have the resources to wage battle after more than a week of
“The President has also asked to check, to look into reports… iyong tuluy-tuloy ang supply or bakit parang hindi nauubusan ng supply? He has asked some officials to look into that as well,” Valte said.
The military and the police have also started clearing operations and have requested for the assistance of barangay officials to determine the identity of people staying in evacuation centers to make sure that no rebels were among those present in temporary shelters.
Asked if the President’s presence in Zamboanga was a sign for the immediate conclusion of the standoff, Valte said his presence was a manifestation of the President’s resolve to be with the residents until the crisis is over.
“The President’s presence there is testament really to his statement to the people of Zamboanga City na hindi namin kayo iiwan, nandito kami para i-extend lahat ng puwedeng gawin ng pamahalaan para sa inyo,” she said. PND