By Malu Cadelina Manar
KIDAPAWAN CITY — A hundred Army fatigue uniform-wearing men who claimed to be members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were flagged down along the national highway in Buluan, Maguindanao, Saturday.
Reports from the Army based in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat said the armed MNLF members were onboard trucks and were holding high-powered firearms when they were intercepted at a checkpoint in Buluan town.
Army reports added the assigned Army personnel ordered the Moro rebels to disembark and were told to stay in a building near the chokepoint while negotiations for their release were ongoing.
Soldiers manning the highway seized from the rebels at least 50 firearms, mostly long and high-powered. The soldiers found out that most, if not all, firearms were unlicensed.
The Army said MNLF leaders who were with the group explained to the soldiers they were headed towards Buluan town for a general assembly.
The Moro rebels came from North Cotabato and Davao region, said the Army.
A source also said the rebels were later released in the afternoon but their guns remained in the custody of the authorities.
It was not clear, though, if charges of carrying unlicensed guns would be filed against the MNLF members.