Business, Muslim groups urge people to share in peace effort PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:15

The presidents of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation (ZCCIF) and the Golden Crescent consortium of Peace Builders and Affiliate have called on the civilian populace to rally behind the local government and law enforcement authorities in the effort to keep the city safe and sound.

Rufo “Pocholo” Soliven, president of the ZCCIF and Prof. Ali Yacub, president of the Golden Crescent Consortium, which is an affiliate of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace issued the call in the light of the recent twin blasts that hit the city and the spate of crime incidents.

Both Soliven and Yacub cited the importance of a cohesive and united community in the campaign to curb criminality and all forms of violence and consequently bring in more progress and development.

“Everybody in the community as Zamboanguenos, has the responsibility to make the City safe, this is not just the responsibility of the local government or the police, this is our responsibility. We want to say that a peaceful City starts with us in the community, in our respective homes and in ourselves,” Soliven said in a press briefing Friday after Mayor Celso Lobregat convened the City Crisis Management Committee (CMC) to assess the situation following the Thursday explosions at a Rural Transit Bus in Guiwan and in an area near the mosque in Suterville, Campo Islam.

The ZCCIF president admitted that the Thursday blasts will send a wrong signal anew to investors but stressed that the business sector in the city has always been initiating steps parallel to LGU initiatives in bringing in investors.

He stressed that the crime incidents are unfortunate events “but this will stop us from helping the City Government to promote the City as an investment hub even if this again will affect the score cards in terms of investment that other investors are looking for”.

“We are here for the long haul and we will not stop until we make Zamboanga City the next Singapore,” Soliven added.

For his part, Prof.Yacub lamented that the explosions, particularly the one near the Suterville mosque happened as the Muslim community is about to end the fasting month of Ramadan.

“It is really a sad event but we ask the people to rally behind the City Mayor and the police. We cannot all the time blame the police for these incidents,” the Muslim leader attested.

Prof. Yacub was invited to the CMC meeting by Mayor Lobregat to share his views concerning the twin blasts that struck the city Thursday night. He said it was his first time to attend the CMC meeting and that he was impressed by the presentations by the agencies concerned. 

“The Task Force Zamboanga, the Police and the City Government are doing their best and we cannot be blaming all the time the police, the police cannot be guarding the whole stretch of the city all the time, unless our people will cooperate and one of the cooperation effort is to report to the authorities anything they know about an incident,” he said.

Prof. Yacub likewise commended the police for the assurance of securing the mosques and other places of worship during the culmination of the Ramadan period.

“We know the competence of the police and our military and Task Force Zamboanga,” the Muslim leader said adding that the community should and must share in the responsibility of making Zamboanga City a safe place to live. — Sheila Covarrubias