The teacher continues to report:
STATEMENT OF MAYOR BENG CLIMACO (September 18, 2013)
September 18, 2013 at 7:56am
In the course of all the events that transpired yesterday, our strength as a people has been tested. On the 10th day of the crisis, there are a lot of questions that yearn for answers. I would like to be clarified and the people of Zamboanga City of how the unfolding of these events and the clamour for justice be reconciled in the midst of a peaceful resolution to this problem.
Ya sapa di aton susto anoche cuando ya sabe kita cay el di aton OIC City Police Director Col. Jose Chiquito M. Malayo y el su maga gente librao ya na peligro. Gracias a Dios kay na buen condicion ele pero ta continua pa siempre kita reza para el librado del otro pa maga hostages que ta esta pa cautivo.
I stand strong that as Mayor of this city, I want a long-term solution for this problem. I cannot allow the repeat of any of this nor the repeat of the 2001 Cabatangan experience. Our people have been wounded, our lives forever changed and our city’s dignity marred. I stand firm with the President Noy’s pronouncements that charges shall be filed and justice will be gained for those whose lives were wasted in this atrocity. Let the perpetrators go to jail and never be allowed to come back to our city. I appeal to the city officials and I appeal to national officials present here with us, you have seen the pains of our people and you have seen the damage this has caused and you are here thank you for helping us. It is with this hope that you defend the cause of Justice for Zamboanguenos, because we are counting on you.
The clearing operations are still ongoing in the areas of concern. We continue to advise those who are living in Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Kasanyangan, Rio Hondo, Talon-Talon, Mampang and Arena Blanco and other areas of concern not to return to their homes yet or to seek safer grounds to allow the troops to carry out their tasks in these areas.
There are more establishments opening up today, the CAAP has announced the resumption of flights tomorrow and more economic activities are being done beyond the conflicted areas. Our city may not right away get back to normalcy, but we are trying to make steps to begin the work for people to get back to our toes.
Sec. Enrique Ona came to personally verify the Health needs of the City and will open more operating facilities in our City and make our emergency rooms functional in WMSU and the Sanitarium more responsive to patients. These goes to all other evacuation centers.
A team of Volunteers and mental health professionals provide debriefing to our hostages. Social Workers giving Therapy and teachers Counselling in Evacuation Centers. The DSWD under Sec. Soliman is helping us with the rehabilitation plans. Her instruction is to build back better, akel cosa antes sila tiene maga casa ay hace mas bueno pa. Today we began a program at the MCIC to help informal sector gain daily subsistence through the parishes and the brgy with the help of Tzu Chi and other NGOs.
In this connection, we shall continue to heighten security in the city and thus we shall request for everyone’s cooperation. We have to learn the lessons of this crisis. Today until Friday, the suspension of classes still stands for both public and private schools and the curfew hours from 8PM-5AM remains the same. For city hall employees, only offices providing frontline services are required to report. However, for those in the national and regional government offices outside the critical areas, we call upon your respective regional directors to set your discretionary judgment to resume operations in your respective offices. For the private establishments and companies, we allow your officers’ discretionary judgment in their call for the resumption of work. Again, we emphasize that these calls to open is only for those areas outside the critical areas and thus we give the heads of agencies and owners the discretion to operate.
Our vigilance continues and I ask the help of our barangay officials that we should heighten our security measures in our respective barangays to identify our residents and report those who are suspicious in our areas. We have received reports on civilians coordinating with authorities when confronted with suspicious looking individuals— that is the kind of cooperation we would like to get from our people.
Con todo maga officiales de Barangay ta pidi came de ustedes cooperacion recivi con el maga evacuante kay bajo na ley este di aton responsibilidad. El Declaration de Policia del Constitution y bajo del Directiva implementa el policia del Ciudad y function del maga Barangay implementa leyes del Ciudad bajo na Acto Republica 7160.
I have visited evacuation centers and talked to some children. I asked them in Tausug, Maita Kamo Yari? Porque ustedes taqui? Why are you here?
And they answered, “ Pasal aun diungog namo makusug timbak.” Kay tiene kame ya uwi pwerte rebentada. We heard a loud blast.
And the children continued saying, “Pasal aun mga tau mabaya sila kawaun in Zamboangan.” Kay tiene mga hente quiere saca con el Zamboanga. Because there are people who want to get Zamboanga.
So I assured them, “ Para kato in Zamboangan, para kanyu ini, bukun kita idihil parugahing tau. Magtabang-tabang kitanio.” De aton el Zamboanga, para de ustedes este, numas quita permiti otro saka con el de aton ciudad. Man ayudahan kita. Zamboanga is ours. Zamboanga is for our children. We shall not allow other forces to reign in our city. Let’s help each other.
Let not devastation creep in our hearts. Zamboanguenos are bigger than this. We shall fight for JUSTICE. We shall rebuild this city. We shall come out stronger after all these. I remain inspired that our Nuestra Senora La Virgen del Pilar looks upon us and that the Almighty Father will help us rise above this crisis. We remain under one flag, one Zamboanga. Vaya con Dios!