City cancels Bangsamoro rally PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 May 2014 14:08

For the interest of the majority of the Zamboanguenos and per recommendation of police and military authorities, Mayor Beng Climaco Saturday cancelled the rally of the Mindanao Alliance for Peace (MAP) set in the city May 4 for the purpose of “supporting the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law and to appeal to both Houses of Congress to pass it the earliest possible time”.

“Since Zamboanga City is not part of the ARMM nor will it be part of the Bangsamoro core territory, we cancelled the rally.  We support all peace initiatives as this will help the people of Mindanao,” the mayor said in a press briefing Sunday morning.

The mayor Saturday night met with the security sector and other stakeholders including representatives from the International Monitoring Team (IMT), Adhoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), the vice mayor, City Legal Officer and City Administrator as well as representatives of rally organizers in City Hall where the supposed rally was exhaustively discussed and where the group ultimately decided to cancel the rally for the good of the greater majority.

Climaco has assured the representatives of the organizers that the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law will be taken up in Congress as this is the priority of the President. She said she follows the guidance of police and military authorities for the safety and security of the residents.

“As mayor of the city, I am accountable to the people and so my decisions will have to be for the greater interest of the majority. I cannot take the risk of allowing the rally given the situation we have gone through in the September siege. The security of the people is paramount,” she added.

During the press briefing, Acting City Police Director Col. Angelito Casimiro and Task Force Zamboanga Commander Col. Andrelino Colina also gave their views corroborating the mayor’s stand on the issue.

Col. Casimiro said upon review of the MAP request for rally, various discrepancies were noticed. For one, in cases of any eventuality, the authorities cannot pinpoint responsibility as the letter was signed by MAP chairman Addulmanan Gayak but the same is being followed up by Saudi Daranda of the Mindanao Action for Peace and Development (MAPAD). The letter was submitted to City Hall only at 4pm Friday, May 2.

The representatives of the organizers present during the meeting were Daranda, Taha Paranda who is the Secretary-General of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Zamboanga, Hatta Said of MAP and a representative of the Al Mhuminat, a women group.

According to Casimiro, the representatives of the organizer would not also present the proposed rally’s program flow, the names of the resource persons including the expected number of participants.

“We cannot compromise security,” the acting police director added.— Sheila Covarrubias