Zambasulta leaders ink support pact for Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 December 2013 11:22

Top political and religious leaders from Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi gathered for the first time yesterday and signed a covenant of support for the early recovery and rehabilitation of Zamboanga City following the massive infrastructure destruction and humanitarian crisis brought about by the 23-day siege last September.

Heading the signatories to the covenant of support for Zamboanga City were Mayor Beng Climaco herself, Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar and her Vice Gov. Keehmar J. Sakalahul, Sulu Gov. Totoh Tan, his father Vice Gov. Abdusakur Tan and Congresswoman Maryam Arbison, Tawi-Tawi Gov. Nurbert Sahali, his father Vice Gov. Sadikul Sahali and Congresswoman Ruby Sahali.

The religious leaders included Monsignor Crisologo Manongas, Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, Rev. Pastor Pablo Palis, Mufti Abdulbaki Abubakar, Deputy Mufti Sheik Abdulwakil Tanjihil , Sheik Muhaimin Sakili as chairman of Darul Ifta, Sheik Jamal Sakaluran Munib, Sheik Walid Abubakar and several other Muslim religious leaders.

Also in attendance were the mayors, vice mayors and local legislators from the different municipalities of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi together with Zamboanga City Councilors Kim Elago, Myra Paz Valderrosa-Abubakar, Luis Biel and VP Elago along with DILG-City Director Moh. Taha Arakama and representatives from other government agencies concerned.

In the covenant of commitment read as follows:

“We, leaders and elders or our communities have gathered today to forge this covenant.”

“By God’s mercy and graciousness, we hold a trust to lead and guide our people, especially in times of trials and crises, when our communities need most our light and hands in their recovery from the recent trauma and in rebuilding their lives.”

“We are united in reconstructing a better and certainly more habitable Zamboanga where Muslims, Christians and indigenous peoples are living harmonious co-existence. A better Zamboanga imbued with love and trust towards co-creating a common dream.”

“And the bedrock of such reconstruction shall be social justice, love and compassion, where no family shall be torn apart; no home shall disintegrate and no community uprooted.”

“We commit ourselves to heal and mend the social fabric, torn by the recent war.”

“And we stand as one people committing to rebuilding a better and more peaceful society not only for today but for the days to come, where food and freedom, jobs and justice are available to all. And that our people are free from fear, and free from want.”

The event dubbed Region-wide Leaders Summit was initiated by the Darul Ifta and the Archdiocese of Zamboanga in coordination with the city government of Zamboanga. It was anchored on the theme “Confidence Building, Reconstruction and Healing: What Muslims and Christian Leaders can do together.”

As this developed, Mayor Climaco in her emotionally-packed response sincerely thanked the Zambasulta political leaders and elders for their support to (re)building back Zamboanga better even as she apologized for certain problems that cropped up during the relief operations. — Vic Larato