Beng keeps justice call on Zambo siege PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 12:37

Barely a week from now, Zamboanga City will commemorate the first anniversary of the infamous September 9, 2013 siege, but Mayor Beng Climaco remains unceasing in her call for justice for all the victims who until now have not recovered yet from what they termed a nightmare.

“I will not bog down. What I said during the siege is still the same sentiments (a year later) and it’s a very strong desire that justice should be done for the killing of 2-year old Ethan Ando, and all the victims of the Zamboanga siege,” Mayor Climaco told a news conference yesterday in City Hall.

Climaco, who was the main complainant in the case against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari for allegedly orchestrating the Zamboanga siege, was responding to a query about her thoughts that Misuari remains free.

“Hindi ko po trabaho ang manghuli. Ang trabaho ko ay ayusin ang kapakanan ng ating mga mamamayan,” Climaco said with indirect reference to the police and military for failing to apprehend Misuari notwithstanding the arrest warrant issued against him by the court.

“My responsibility as local chief executive is to ensure the welfare and safety of our people,” she reiterated. “Por eso si cosa man estos maga incidente, que ay abuya si Misuari as cosa capasidad, aquellos que debe hace de ila trabaho necesita hace cay para comigo man Sept siege ya kita mucho kita mga concierne que debe hace,” she added.

Climaco bewailed that majority of the people of Zamboanga, especially the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various evacuation centers and transitional sites, have suffered so much from the siege that they considered it their worst nightmare.

“That is why we are going to the different evacuation centers and temporary shelters to let the IDPs know that they are not alone. Hindi lang sila ang nahihirapan. Ang mayor at lahat kami ay nahihirapan din…but we are not just sitting down and waiting for events to transpire. We are doing something and everything for them,” Climaco said.

It will be recalled, members of the MNLF-Misuari faction, who were armed to the teeth, attacked the city at dawn on Sept. 9, 2013, resulting in fierce gun battle with the police and military forces that lasted for more than a month.

A humanitarian crisis was declared as thousands of families from the affected barangays of Mariki, Rio Hondo, Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Kasanyangan, Talon-Talon and Mampang were evacuated to the Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex in Baliwasan, making it the biggest evacuation center. Other evacuation centers were established on Cawa-Cawa shorelines and public schools.

Today, barely almost a year since the September 9 siege, the city government together with the National Housing Authority (NHA), the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the various international humanitarian agencies are in the thick of recovery and reconstruction efforts.

A series of activities have been lined up to commemorate the Zamboanga siege on Sept. 9 (Tuesday).— Vic Larato