Ecumenical service marks 9/9 commemoration PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 12 September 2014 13:01

“What is priority to me, as your local chief executive (officer), is to protect the civilian population.”

These were the words of Mayor Beng Climaco during the inter-faith ecumenical service Tuesday, September 9, as the city commemorated the 23-day crisis dubbed as the ‘Zamboanga Siege’ last year.

Also, the service was intended for the heroes and for the whole Zamboanga populace who defended the flag.

Speaking in the event was Mayor Climaco herself who shared her thoughts as the Zamboanga siege was dragging itself longer than expected.

“My first thoughts were to protect the civilian populace by means of calling off all works and classes,” the chief executive said.

She also said that protecting the civilians at the height of the siege was the ultimate mandate the people of Zamboanga had given to her and the rest of the officials of the city.

In addition, Mayor Climaco underscored that through the guidelines and leadership of His Excellency, President Benigno Aquino III, they were able to meet the goal which is to protect the hostages “from being hurt as a consequence of being human shields.”

Mayor Climaco also honored the memory of a two-year old boy who died during the siege.

“I’d like to honor the memory of a two-year old boy, who to me, is a source of inspiration; a source of courage,” she said.

Ethan Ando was shot in the head during the siege that started in the morning of September 9 last year.  The mayor couldn’t stress enough that Ando “did not deserve to die.”

“We want to let everyone know that Ando’s life is a precious one. With our combined efforts, we will rise again and defend and protect Zamboanga City,” she declared.

She also stressed that Zamboanga does not belong to anybody but to the Zamboanga people alone.

In conclusion, the mayor thanked the military and police forces for protecting the city against the forces of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). — Juseph G. Elas, WMSU-OJT