Tuesday, September 14, 2021

OPINION: Pencing by Mario O. Feliciano, Jr.

La Bella Zamboanga commemorates ‘MNLF Siege’

SINCE THE September 9, 2013 attack right in the heart of our La Bella Zamboanga by some 500 heavily-armed Moro National Liberation Front members under Nur Misuari, this peace-loving and highly-urbanized City in Mindanao has been placed under continuous heightened alert.

Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar deeply explained in a television interview during the solemn observance of its  8th year anniversary of the so-called Zamboanga Siege, that “the alert level of Zamboanga City will always be heightened because we need to make sure that our security forces are able to be preventive or proactive. Otherwise, if we lower our guards, or the alert level, the security forces might be lax or complacent, as well.”

Ergo, our Chief Executive has never watered-down her continuous tight security policy for our City since that bloody and treacherous attack staged by the Moro rebels traumatized the whole Zamboanga populace and caught all its people with their pants down.

She heaped praises for her brave stance and also lauded the extraordinary efforts shared by the different Greek-lettered fraternities in our La Bella, as they see to it that their own different barangays, or villages where they live are more in safe hands now than ever before since terror struck the City back in those menacing days eight years ago.

The Mayor stressed that her incumbent administration has never stopped engaging with the police, the military and the force multipliers, to include the barangay tanods, so that all of them will exert their utmost efforts at securing the safety and protection of their own communities.

She was all cognizant of the huge help extended up to now by all the local fraternities, in so far as security ramp-up in our City, is concerned. “I cannot mention all of these fraternities, but I know they are helping in so many ways the people and the communities. They have dialogued with the police, and have even volunteered to ease the burden of the people by helping us in securing, and even in coping with the pandemic,” she extolled.

“We have to engage the community, the fraternities, because they are very important to us in many ways,” the Mayor underlined further and she profoundly noted that the people in the barangays would even volunteer themselves in keeping law and order in their respective communities.

Now, let’s see its cons, as critics cried out: “Whatever happens to our City Government’s much-ballyhooed legal battle vs. these rogue MNLF fighters under their Chieftain Nur Misuari for grave charges of alleged rebellion and insurrection?” asked a dismayed folk who claimed as amongst the victims of Zamboanga Siege.

The appalling turn of events in its case vs. the offenders of such heinous crimes came when Davao strongman President Rodrigo Duterte took up the cudgels for and on behalf of Misuari whom he considered as his personal friend. He even invited Misuari to speak in Malacanang and allowed him to pour out his heart to express his grievances against the government.

My gosh! How lucky he could be, and even got tenfold luckier when President Duterte appointed the former rebel chieftain as his special envoy to the Middle East countries. The President likewise provided him free shelter in Davao City as his home in Zamboanga City has been kept under close guarding by the military since becoming the “Most Wanted Person” in our La Bella Zamboanga, thus declared a persona non-grata, for his supposed grievous crimes against humanity in the infamous “Zamboanga Siege.

The attack resulted in the loss of over 200 lives and widespread destruction of at least 6 urban barangays which were flattened to the ground due to intense fighting between the attackers and security forces during the 21-day street battle.

Question: What’s the stern warning of God to man about never to pass any judgment on his fellowmen?

Answer: “Do not judge others and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged.” (Matthew 7: 1-2)  jayfeliciano2@yahoo.com

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