Thursday, 12 February 2015 13:19
(BY: BERLIE G. YAP) It is encouraging both to see and hear your mayor in an early TV/radio program, assuring her constituents safety. Mayor Beng came to Barangay eMedia yesterday at around 6:30 in the morning, and she laid down many points to the public. But what prevailed so much, in the more than 30-minutes interview, was that her leadership is over and in control to some situations around.
Mayor Beng emphasized, “The public is advised to remain calm but vigilant. Our police and military forces as well as the local government are on top of the situation. We are firm in our resolve to ensure the security, peace and order and tranquility of the city.”
Not so many knew that most of Zamboanga City on Monday—February 10, temporarily shut down because of the apparent presence of some suspicious people, by tens or even hundreds, downtown. To include the number of offices which closed last Monday was the City Hall, schools as directed by the DepEd itself, different department stores and shops in the City heart.
Behind the scene was actually a high tension, and almost a unilateral, negotiation from a group of civil society supporting the BBL demanding the City Hall a permit to conduct a massive peace caravan in the City. There were vans, in the different inlets of the City, which were temporarily held by the Task Force Zamboanga, because they seem to pose indirect threats to the City’s red alert status.
While in the streets of Zamboanga was a scenario pretty unlikely to the faint-hearted, but all of them were a precautionary measure that our authorities must rule. The local government indeed had learnt a hard lesson after the siege last 2013. Thus, any seeming movement that may lead for a confrontation is being avoided, by all means, of our authorities.
To add in the concern was also the recent issue of the Mamasapano, Zamboanga is still hurting that these combined factors awoke our leaders’ consciousness to draw lines and limit certain movements of some groups that could lead to any probable intrusion again in Zamboanga. It wasn’t just the City Hall moving but as well the leaders of the 98 barangays of the City. Everyone is co-operating since Monday.
Councilor Jerry Perez, chairman of the peace and order in the City Council, personally went to Licomo to help see the checkpoints to filter incoming vehicles to the City. Men in uniformed were everywhere and tanks were positioning in key places. A stretch of road, close to the City Hall, was also shut down by the police for passing motorists.
The reaction of our authorities recently implied a picture of an awakened man who felt an impending danger lurking around him, hence his soberness came on him to its fullest.
Now the studentry, due to cancelled classes, had all the chances to stroll in usual places where youths hangout. One instant was in Paseo del Mar, crowds were still congregating in the vicinity. Then suddenly, an obvious military official arrived, probably to check his troops.
Hilariously, uniformed men started to apprehend tricycles at the different sides of the park, but as soon as the said official left, the same uniformed men released the poor drivers who were definitely worried. Stuffs like these are the abnormal NORMS in La Bella come any threat surfaces out.
But in fairness, those crowds who came to the City, to intend the peace caravan, observed civility. We thank God that nothing untoward happened in those shivering moments and nobody was hurt. After all, in the Republic everyone is given the rights to ventilate his ideas and thoughts without police interference. Somehow, like in Isabela City and other parts of Basilan, the said peace caravan happened, and peacefully.
“Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.” (1 Cor. 3:16-17, ESV)
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