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Climaco vows to pursue fight vs siege perpetrators

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Mayor Beng Climaco reiterated yesterday that she will continue and pursue to final justice the fight against members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) who perpetrated the Zamboanga siege in 2013, this time under a new panel of prosecutors.

The new panel of prosecutors, handling the rebellion and violation of the International Humanitarian Law against the remaining more or less 200 MNLF members in Taguig jail, came over to the city last week and met behind closed doors with Mayor Climaco and members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod together with the city legal team led by Atty. Jesus Carbon Jr.

She said the trial will start anytime and that she was ready to testify being the main complainant, having signed her affidavit on Sept. 21, 2013, at the height of the siege, and certified by City Prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron.

“We want our witnesses to remain intact because the city government has appropriated certain amount for them, and this is a battle that I believe as local chief executive, we must not allow to be attacked again,” the mayor said during the press briefing yesterday.

“The fight against the MNLFs, the injustice done to those who perished in the siege and those who have lost their lives as a consequence of displacement must be brought to justice,” she added.

Recalled, the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 158 ordered released from Taguig jail close to 100 MNLF members accused of rebelling and violation of the International Humanitarian Law for their participation in the siege.

The release was a result of the plea bargaining agreement entered into by the Department of Justice and some of the accused MNLFs despite objection of the city.

“We don’t end with simply giving them (remaining accused MNLFs) free hand to go back to their normal lives and attack us again,” she vowed, adding that this time “we will continue and pursue our fight for justice, and ensure that they will really be brought to final justice.”-(Vic Larato)




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