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THREE gay friends—(from left) Peter Jupiter Galvez, Ram Mahusay and Momar Javier—overcome fear and trauma at the height of the crisis. They challenged death to save more than a hundred hostages during Zamboanga crisis. JULIE S. ALIPALA
3 gay students make difference in Zamboanga City standoff

in PHILIPPINES, 22/12/2013

Momar Javier already accepted his fate that he was “going to die” while being held hostage by Moro National Liberation Front MNLF) forces in Zamboanga City in early September. “But we needed to do something,” said Javier, 20, a student of Zamboanga State College of Marine Sciences and Technology (ZSCMST). Javier is one of three young gay men who came out with their best during the worst of times. Together with Peter Jupiter Galvez and Ram Mahusay, Javier provided food, water and laughter for the other hostages held by the MNLF forces.

The MNLF forces entered the city, claiming they were instructed to march and hold a rally in front of City Hall where they will declare the independence of the Bangsamoro Republic. Their presence caused panic among residents and armed response from police and government soldiers, leading to a three-week standoff.

Fr. Michael Ufana, the parish priest of Saint Joseph Church, said the gay youngsters took care of his 70-year-old father Isidoro.

“At the height of captivity, these gay students offered comfort to my family. They gave their papag (bed) to my father and sister. They slept on the cold, dirty floor,” Ufana told the Inquirer.

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