CCC’s 31st death anniv program set PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 09 November 2015 11:27

The City Government will spearhead the commemoration of the 31st death anniversary of Cesar Cortes Climaco, the city’s legendary mayor, on Saturday, November 14.

Cesar Climaco, the uncle of incumbent Mayor Beng Climaco, served as the city’s chief executive for 11 years during which he was an outspoken critic against corruption and in particular against the martial law regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos. His assassination on November 14, 1984 in Gov. Alvarez Street remains unsolved up to this time.

Mayor Beng Climaco will lead the series of activities on Saturday which will kick off with a commemorative mass at the Sta. Maria Parish church at 7am to be followed by the wreath-laying and candle-lighting at the assassination site along Gov. Alvarez St.

From the assassination site, the activity will move to the Climaco Freedom park in Abong-abong Pasonanca where the wreath-laying and commemorative program will be held. The launching of the CCC installation art will also highlight the program.

The commemoration of the Dia di Cesar every November 14 is pursuant to an ordinance approved by the City Council with the aim of perpetuating the memory of the legendary mayor.

Cesar Cortes Climaco was born on February 28, 1916 to Gregoria Climaco and Isabelita Cortes. He had 2 brothers and 2 sisters- Rafael a lawyer who became a Justice in the Court of Appeals; Jose or Jolly also a lawyer who became vice-mayor of Zamboanga and whose daughter Beng is now the incumbent mayor; Leticia, who married a prominent physician in the city, Dr. Espiridion Alvarez; and Lydia.

Cesar was a lawyer by profession and his experience in the government service started when he was appointed prosecutor in the town of Jolo. Later, he was named executive assistant to the Mayor of Davao. Cesar came home to Zamboanga to serve as Executive Secretary to Mayor Manuel Jaldon.

Cesar’s political career began when he ran for the City Council in 1953, an election which he won overwhelmingly. It was in the same year that he was designated as Mayor of Zamboanga. In 1954, he became the Chief Project Manager and Field Coordinator of Operation Brotherhood in Vietnam, a position which he served until 1955, and which won him international recognition. He came back to Zamboanga in 1956 and ran in the first election ever held for the position of mayor in the city. Cesar went up against an appointive Mayor, Hector Suarez, and had for his running mate Dr. Tomas Ferrer under the banner of the Liberal Party. Cesar won in that election, giving him the distinction of being the first elected mayor of Zamboanga City.

Cesar Climaco served as mayor from 1953-1954; 1956-1961 and 1980- 1984. — Sheila Covarrubias