Climaco wants Marines, Army to stay in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 August 2015 13:22

by Vic Larato


Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday declared the 9th Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT-9) and the army contingent will remain in Zamboanga City to assist the local police force in maintaining the city’s peace and order.

This, despite the shootout incident Tuesday night in Labuan that resulted in the death two police officers and a Marine soldier.

“We would just like to reiterate the people of Zamboanga City are grateful for the presence of MBLT-9 and all the marine contingents that served us during my term since 2013. And we need the marines in the city, together with the police and the army to ensure that the joint task group PUMA will be maintained.  All security operations must be coordinated so that the more than 900,000 population of Zamboanga City is kept safe,” Mayor Climaco said when interviewed in her office in the presence of MBLT-9 commander Lt. Col. Enstein Calaoa, Jr.

The mayor said it was she and Labuan Chairman Ronald Maravilla who personally requested for the marines to be assigned in Labuan for joint security operations with the police, following the abductions incidents in that part of the city.

Climaco said the incident Tuesday night, when the marines and the police from the Regional Public Safety Battalion-9 (RPSB9) figured in a bloody shootout that resulted in the death of two policemen and a marine soldier, had something to do with patrol territory.

She said the incident is now being investigated jointly by the police and the military, adding that both contingents of the RPSB9 and MBLT9 have already been pulled out in Labuan immediately after the shootout incident that also injured a civilian.

In the meantime, the chief executive appealed to the families and friends of slain policemen and marines to exercise sobriety, and for both parties RPSB9 and MBLT9 to desist from unlawful activities and retaliation.

To the residents of Labuan, Climaco urged them to remain calm but vigilant and have faith that the police and other security forces are there to keep them safe and secured.

“What has happened was in the course of their functions to protect Zamboanga City. There were some disagreements that led to a very bloody confrontation,” Climaco said.

For his part, the MBLT9 commander said they came to Zamboanga at the behest of the city government, particularly Mayor Climaco and they will remain to serve the city at the pleasure of the mayor.

“So, we will stay as long as the mayor needs us,” Col. Calaoa said. — Vic Larato