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Tawi-Tawi feels repercussion of Zambo standoff


BONGAO, Tawi-Tawi—The encounter between members of the Moro National Liberation Front and government troops in Zamboanga City has left Tawi-Tawi in bad shape.

Airlines and shipping vessels traveling the Zambonga-Tawi-Tawi route have cancelled trips since Sept. 9 because of the standoff.

The provincial government of Tawi-Tawi has had to arrange two special flights to Cebu on Sept. 13 and 14 to ferry pilgrims who had booked Sept. 15 flights to Jeddah.

Arrangements were also made with two vessels of Aleson Shipping Lines to transport to Bongao on Sept. 16 about 3,000 passengers stranded in Zamboanga City.

The suspension of commercial transportation has resulted in an increase in the prices of food commodities. Chartered vessels were also used to bring basic goods to the province.

Meanwhile, text messages that members of the MNLF would be marching in Bongao have been circulating and created panic among residents.

Supt. Joselito Salido, provincial police chief, said although the province has not been affected by the chaos in Zamboanga and Basilan, the police remain on alert in case the crisis spills over to Tawi-Tawi.