Zambo siege Part 2 unlikely to happen PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 12 December 2013 13:12

History may repeat itself but the infamous Zamboanga siege by the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels last September is not likely to happen again.

“I am sure it will not happen (again). Take it from me. Sa tingin ko wala ng mangyayaring ganon because look at us, everybody is here and everybody is willing to support and prevent anything like that (siege) from happening.”

Sulu Vice Gov. Abdusakur Tan made the statement at Tuesday’s Region-wide Leaders Summit in a bid to assuage fear of Zamboangueños about the rumored part 2 of the siege.

He said the coming together of local government executives and civil society groups from all over Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi during the summit was enough assurance that nothing like the siege will ever happen again in Zamboanga.

Tan was responding to the apprehension voiced out by evangelical pastor Rev. Pablo Palis of another siege in Zamboanga as he recalled having experienced the war in Jolo in 1974 that forced his family to move to Zamboanga City only to experience similar war years later.

“We can hardly afford another conflict, a conflict that took place in 1974 for up to now we have not fully recovered after 40 years,” Tan said.

For his part, Tawi-Tawi Vice Gov. Sadikul Sahali said they came to Zamboanga to help the city rise again from the ashes of war and in jest he offered to bring with him the internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially the Badjaos, back to his province where he would give them permanent shelters.

He believes that most IDPs occupying the R.T. Lim Boulevard are not from Zamboanga.

Basilan Gov. Jum Akbar, meanwhile, stressed that Zamboanga City has become part of the lifeblood of the people in Basilan and nearby provinces that “whatever happens here greatly affects our province and people as well.”

She shared the views of Sulu Gov. Totoh Tan who said the episode (siege) will forever be etched  in the collective memory of people regardless of tribe or religion and for whom Zamboanga is also their home.

“What happened here as dama din sa Sulu, Basilan at Tawi-Tawi,” he said.

Businessman Pocholo Soliven, president of the Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation, Inc., said the siege has proven the symbiotic relationship between Zamboanga City and nearby provinces.

“We need each other. No man is an island. If we are not united, how can we be competitive?” he pointed out.

Rev. Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, founder of the Silsillah Dialogue Movement, talked about the desire to build through formation and that the present situation calls for the conversion of hearts (not the conversion of faithful to another religion). — Vic Larato