DILG honors fallen soldiers, policemen PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 September 2013 12:41

Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II and other officials including Mayor Beng Climaco and Rep. Celso Lobregat yesterday honored the fallen government security forces and expressed gratitude to all those who stood by the government during the 20-day siege in Zamboanga City.

A memorial in honor of those soldiers, including three young lieutenant -PMA graduates and one police Inspector, was held at the Western Mindanao Command Headquarters.

This, as the DILG chief declared the Zamboanga City siege by members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction of Nur Misuari as officially over.

“We can say for certain: The siege of Zamboanga is over. Malaya po muli ang lungsod ng Zamboanga (Zamboanga City is again free),” Roxas said.

”We honor the fallen: the brave soldiers and policemen, who died for the sake of their countrymen; innocent civilians who were sacrificed at the altar of the selfish interest of a few,” he added.

Roxas said that a total of 195 hostages were safely rescued by government security forces during 20-day calibrated response against the MNLF followers of Misuari.

On the other hand, Roxas said that a total of 183 followers of Misuari were killed in action while 292 others were either captured or surrendered.

A total of 18 government troops, five policemen and 13 soldiers, have perished while 187 others were wounded. Twelve civilians also died during the siege.

”We wholeheartedly thank all those who sacrificed and faithfully stood by their posts – the city and barangay officials led by your Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar, and Representatives Celso Lobregat and Lilia Nuño, the soldiers, the police, the firemen, the volunteers, the social workers, the doctors and nurses, all the sectors of Zamboanga community who worked tirelessly and with dedication for the broader interest of the people and community,” Roxas said.

“We stand proud of the resilence of the people of Zamboanga. Sa lahat ng zamboangaueno: Kahanga-hanga ang pinakita ninyong tibay ng loob. Pinatunayan ninyong hinding-hindi nila mapapayuko ang puso’t dangal ng Zamboangeno,” he also said.

The Zamboanga City conflict started last Sept. 9 when more or less 300 followers of Misuari occupied at least six barangays and took about 200 civilians as hostages.