Let us keep our City running - Beng PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 13:58

Mayor Beng Climaco called on the different sectors of the community to continue working together in order to “keep our City running”, even as she requested residents for a little more patience.

“I hear you, and I understand you,” said Climaco during a press briefing Monday afternoon, assuring the public that the local government is doing everything it can to address the social needs of all residents.

Emotions run high as the standoff between the government forces and the Nur Misuari breakaway group entered its 9th day yesterday.

“It’s taking its toll on all of us,” added Climaco.

The Mayor enjoined business establishments to continue their operations to assist residents with their needs, and local barangay leaders to be alert and set up early warning systems.

She also called on members of the community to share their resources, if they can, with those in dire need.

Additionally, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has been asked to search for ways and means to assist the needs of affected workers, especially small-time vendors and daily wage earners, said Climaco.

National agencies have also been enjoined to provide frontline services to the City.

Operations against the breakaway group are ongoing and Philippine National Police (PNP) Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas said that government forces are gaining headway.

The calibrated operations of the combined PNP and AFP forces have resulted in the control of at least 70% of the areas previously infiltrated by the breakaway group.

Sixteen high-powered and seven low-powered firearms have also been recovered.

To date, a total of 51 members of the breakaway group have been killed, while 56 have been arrested and are under investigation.

Cases will be filed against the captured members, including for violations against RA 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

A team from the Department of Justice have been sent to the City to process and file the appropriate cases, said DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

As the crisis enters its second week, the number of evacuees has also continued to swell. A total of 81,806 individuals, or approximately 16,973 families, are currently sheltered in 24 evacuation centers in the City as of Monday afternoon.

According to DSWD Dinky Soliman, the task of providing food for all evacuees is split between the DSWD, the local government through its command center at the Sangguniang Panglungsod and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Department is also preparing for post-crisis rehabilitative measures for affected residents.

After recounting the sad fate of a 2-year-old hostage, Climaco ended the press conference with a renewed appeal for the release of all hostages still captive.

“Pakawalan niyo na sila,” said Climaco. — Jasmine Mohammadsali