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Late Mayor Lobregat’s decision on Cabatangan incident the best option


The primary concern and responsibility of the government is the protection of life and property of the people.

It will be recalled that the Cabatangan incident on November 27, 2001 wherein the MNLF forces under Julhambre Misuari took more than 100 hostages at Santa Maria after they were bombarded to wipe them out at Cabatangan Complex.

The crisis management committee (CMC) then was in serious crisis because they were virtually taken hostage and was forced to make a very unpopular decision just to save the lives of the hostages.

The incident caused an unredeemable humiliation and embarrassment to the local and national officials and the AFP and the PNP when the MNLF demanded that they will only release the hostages if they will be allowed to leave the city with their firearms.

History has judged the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat’s decision to be the right one at the moment although unpopular.

In any internal crisis the primodial concern of the gov’t is to prevent loss of life and damage to property.

If the late mayor is alive today for sure she could have adopted similar decision in the early part of the present crisis without sacrificing national security, territorial integrity of the country and the life and property of the people. Because charges could always be filed against the perpetrators and the long arm of the law can turn after them.

September 20, 2013 is the 12th day of the armed conflict in Zamboanga City between the government and the MNLF forces (Misuari faction).

By: Rex G. Miravite

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