Sanctuary city PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 June 2016 11:55

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago are among the cities in the United States considered as “sanctuary” cities for illegal immigrants and felons. Since the burning of Jolo, Sulu and the great earthquake that triggered a tsunami in Zamboanga del Sur in the ’70s, Zamboanga has become a sanctuary city for hundreds of migrants from the north and south. They never returned to their birthplaces, but rather increased their flock in a city that was slowly becoming the western version of Tombstone.

The visionary-mayor Cesar C. Climaco, thus described the “City of Flowers” as the Switzerland of the south, inhabited by migrants, mostly students and jobless “probincianos” seeking greener pasture and better life, as if Zamboanga city is the “light-saver”. Then, came the bandidos y pistoleros, not to mention the combancheros seeking refuge against military and police operations in their devilish turfs.

The defunct Southern Command and even the United Nations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have classified Zamboanga as the “rest and recreation” city of the bad guys, meaning the rebels of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Abu Sayyaf and other lawless forces.

Our population, meanwhile, doubled, nay, even tripled in less than 20 years because of the influx of migrants from Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi and the three Zamboanga provinces. Barter trading between Zamboanga and Malaysia, and later on Singapore brought in more people and money as our economy bettered, but effectively worsening our law and order conditions. Prosperity comes hand-in-hand with criminality.

Before we could say “buenas”, non-Chavacano speaking constituents now comprise about 30 percent of our city population. The fifty-four thousand or so votes garnered by losing mayoral candidate, retired police General Mario B. Yanga, is a testament of that. Caramba, even salespersons and cashiers converse with their customers in funny Tagalog, “anu iyon, seer?” Police (who hired them to be posted in Zamboanga?) speak in Tagalog, too. Ask them for directions (just out of curiosity) and the answer you’ll get is, “di ko alam, sir.” The Zamboangueno cops have all retired. Situations like these make the blood of Drigo Balbon boil.

In 1981, the long, silver-haired CCC wrote Malacanang to plead for intervention as we were driven in the mud by lawlessness. Out of frustration, he nailed a huge crime board at the corridor of City Hall facing the monument of Dr. Jose P. Rizal that itemized index and non-index crimes on a daily basis. It became a tourist attraction and drew the attention of the foreign press. Ironically, the PC-INP (now PNP) and the military were less concerned about it — not the tally sheet but the crime situation. Kidnapping, smuggling, gun-running, summary executions went unabated that some wealthy residents jettisoned to other cities.

Nevertheless, CCC “welcomed” the scums of the earth for he had no choice — for as long as they didn’t make trouble. His appeal didn’t work, as we know by now. We got bombed, dynamited, machine gunned, and raided by bloodthirsty degenerates. The final blow came — a bullet to great Cesar’s head.

We paraded his bloodied body as a folk hero, a martyr who fought a dictatorial regime, a corrupt government that established cronyism and paid attention only to the oligarchs, the elite, the landed, the peninsulares — never the proletariats, the hoi poloi,definitely not the gents in Sucabon, Camino Nuevo and Santa Barbara.

In the next six years, we may have better results with a president that has vowed to KILL defiants of the law, especially drug lords, drug dealers, drug pushers, smugglers, gangs dealing in white slavery, gun-runners, robbers, rapists, gambling lords — all kinds of lords, but landlords. They’ll seek sanctuary in Zamboanga city as they’ve done every so often. That’s how bloody our town shall be because it will be a major battleground of the president’s apocalypse.