Zambo honors security forces ahead of siege anniv today PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 09 September 2014 12:02

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday led the city government of Zamboanga in giving thanks and due recognition to the police and military who battled with the followers of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding Chairman Nur Misuari in their attempt to take over the city exactly one year ago today.

The tribute was held during the flag raising ceremony yesterday being a Monday highlighted by the unfurling of Philippine flags that adorned the historic City Hall, Plaza Rizal and streetlight posts in what was considered as the symbol of Zamboangueños’ battle cry “One Flag, One Nation and One Zamboanga.”

Mayor Climaco herself presented the plaques of commendation to the security forces from different units of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines that joined forces and resources in fierce gun battle with MNLF rebels on Sept. 9, 2013.

The firefight that lasted for 23 days saw the joint government forces in air, sea and ground assaults on the rebels who took for human shields more than 200 civilians including children, women and elederly, some of them were killed in action.

At the end of the crisis, nearly 200 people were killed, including 167 MNLF rebels, 18 soldiers, and five policemen. Clearing operations were then put in place, and government records showed that the city sustained millions of pesos in damages and about 118,819 people affected in 14 villages.

After the ceremony, the city government under the auspices of the Public Information Division gathered the members of the media and took them to a tour of the barangays (Rio Hondo, Mariki, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina and Kasanyangan) directly affected by the siege last year for them to know what these areas have become a year after the crisis, especially the ongoing reconstruction of destroyed homes.

Joining the media tour were staff from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), National Housing Authority and representatives of the other agencies involved in the recovery and reconstruction efforts under the build back better Zamboanga strategy.— Vic Larato