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Climaco meets interfaith council on security issues

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Amid the heightened security measures being implemented all over the city’s 98 barangays, Mayor Beng Climaco on Thursday convened the City Interfaith Council of religious and civil society group leaders, and conferred with them safety and security concerns.

Climaco said the meeting was being called, the council’s first under martial law, to brief the religious Christian and Muslim religious leaders on the security measures that city of Zamboanga has been implementing since the declaration of martial law.

Foremost, she told the council that the city government under her leadership fully supports the declaration of martial law in Mindanao following the outbreak of the Marawi crisis.

“We strongly support the declaration of martial law in so far as to really ensure the safety and security of every resident of the city Christian, Muslim and Lumad,” the mayor said, stressing that immediately after the President placed the entire Mindanao under martial rule, she convened the city peace and order council and the disaster coordinating council to prepare contingency plans.

For the immediate security concerns, Climaco said, she ordered the imposition of “No ID, No Entry” policy in Zamboanga City, particularly in all entry and exit points in the east and west coast areas.

“Nobody shall be allowed to enter Zamboanga City without presenting valid identification cards or documents,” she said, explaining that the measure is intended to shut access of lawless elements into the city as the fighting in Marawi City continues.

She likewise informed the council members that the city government had already sent relief assistance—300 sacks of rice and 55 boxes of noodles and sardines—to Iligan City where most of Marawi’s displaced families had evacuated.

The chief executive also told the interfaith body that she had sent a letter to Peace Process Secretary Jesus Dureza, asking for guidance on how to go about with President Duterte’s acceptance of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) leader Nur Misuari’s office to assist the government forces in fighting the terrorist Maute group in Marawi.

This, after 11 MNLF members came to the city last Wednesday purportedly headed by an MNLF royal general. They had to be escorted to the wharf to board a vessel bound for Basilan.

Climaco appeared apprehensive that the President’s acceptance of Misuari’s offer might embolden MNLF followers in nearby provinces to just move out and come to the city in the guise of helping fight the Maute in Marawi.

“We want to be guided on this matter because as far as we are concerned, we recognize only one PNP and one AFP as duly recognized to carry firearms. Others, not belonging to the police and military, will be apprehended if they carry firearms in the city,” Climaco stressed.-(Vic Larato)




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