National Solidarity Mission set today PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 13:49

More than 200 delegates coming from different Mindanao regions and Manila  will be coming today  to this city to conduct a National Solidarity Mission for the victims of the standoff between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces and government troopers.

The  Mission contingent is already anxious of what has beset around 15 barangays in this city, one of which is described in a recent news item in a national daily   to be a like a “horror movie” and a “nightmare” quoting a resident who had just  returned to his place of residence in a certain village.

Called the Hustisya at Kapayapaan Para Sa Zamboanga:  A National Solidarity Mission, the undertaking will be conducted today.

The Mission aims to: 1) Provide relief, medical, and trauma counselling to survivors of the Zamboanga siege 2) Express sympathy and interfaith solidarity with internally displaced persons 3) Understand and seek ways to push for an inclusive peace in Mindanao 4) Recommend actions to government agencies and policy makers, other civil society organizations, and the international community.

“We have this eerie feeling right now about the situation we would face in Zamboanga City,” said Sr. Noemi Degala of Balsa Mindanao, one of the spearheading groups of the Mission.  Balsa Mindanao is a humanitarian aid group borne in the aftermath of Typhoon Sendong that hit Cagayan de Oro City in 2011.  It had also done relief and rehabilitation efforts in areas affected by Typhoon Pablo that severely struck the provinces of Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley last December.

The  destruction brought about by the Zamboanga siege“is as enormous as that of Typhoons Sendong and Bagyo citing facts such as the displacement of almost 140,000 residents,” added Sr. Noemi.

‘Horrid stories like skirmishes, bombardments, killings and illegal arrests have been reaching us and they are no different from typhoons that devastated some areas in Mindanao in the recent past,” Sr. Noemi said.

A pastor delegate said it sent chills to his spine upon reading the aforesaid news which quoted a resident as saying: “It’s like they (government) were trying to eliminate a single rat by burning the entire barn.”

The Advocates for Peace or AdPeace, on the other hand, has also  called for the resolutions of the issues put forward by  the Moro people such as  their right to self-determination as well as the elimination of state-instigated Moro-Christian conflict and anti-Moro prejudices.  AdPeace is also one of the spearheading organizations of the Mission.