City marks Dia de Cesar PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 14:17

Mayor Celso Lobregat today leads city government officials and employees in a simple ceremony marking the 28th Death Anniversary of Zamboanga City’s legendary mayor Cesar Cortez Climaco at Freedom Park in Abong-Abong, Pasonanca.

As in previous tribute, today’s activity dubbed “Dia de Cesar” will start with a mass at Sta. Maria Parish Church at 8am to be followed by a memorial motorcade to Gov. Alvarez St., where Climaco was assassinated 28 years ago, for the wreath laying rite.

From the marker, Lobregat together with Deputy House Speaker and District 1 Rep. Beng Climaco-Salazar and other relatives of the late mayor and the entourage will motor to the Climaco Freedom Park in Abong-Abong Pasonanca for another offering of flowers on CCC’s resting ground.

A commemorative program will then follow with Mayor Lobregat and Climaco’s son, Dr. Cesar Climaco Jr., giving their messages. 

The Dia de Cesar is a 3-day event that started November 13 with the Mayor Climaco SPED Camp at the Freedom park in Abong-abong w\and the Boy Scouts vigil. Today, Nov. 14 at 7am, an on the Sport painting competition with the SPED students will be held at the Freedom Park.

From today, Nov. 14-15, the Mayor Climaco SPED camp will be moved from the Freedom Park to the Zamboanga City High School-main campus.

Mayor Climaco had worked as janitor to earn his education and eventually became a lawyer, but his rise to political power was simply motivated by public service, having been a city councilor in 1951. Within two years, at the age of 37, he was appointed mayor of Zamboanga City and held the post until the following year.

In 1955, he ran and first won the mayoralty post of the Zamboanga under the Liberal Party and served in such capacity until 1961. He became a national figure, and known for his personal courage as shown by his willingness to venture alone out to hotspots.

On the morning of Nov. 14, 1984, Mayor Climaco rushed to the scene of a fire that had broken out along Gov. Alvarez St (fronting La Merced Memorial Homes).  He supervised operations to put the fire out, and then prepared to leave.

Mayor Climaco then mounted his motorcycle to return to his office, when a gunman still unknown to this time approached from behind and shot the mayor in the nape at point-blank range. He was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. He was 64 years old. — Vic Larato