Thirty-six persons claiming to be members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) were apprehended at a checkpoint jointly manned by the military and police in Zamboanga Sibugay last week, officials said Wednesday.
In a statement, the military said the alleged rebels were aboard two vans that were stopped in Barangay Tiayon, Ipil town, on July 17.
The same statement said the 36 came from Jolo and planned on traveling to Camp Jabal Nur in Lanao Del Sur and joining the National Unified Command.
However, the MNLF leadership denied any links to the alleged rebels, the military said.
“Allegedly these persons were suspected as reinforcement to the Maute/ISIS in Marawi City,” the statement read.
Those arrested were immediately brought to Ipil Municipal Police Station for verification of personal documents and identities. They were turned over to the 102nd Brigade for further investigation.