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Monday, September 9, 2013

Asia’s premier Latin city under siege

Philippine troops on guard. Photo by Reuters.
It was reported as of this writing that there are already 4 people dead, 14 hurt, and 220 civilians held hostages in Zamboanga siege. At least 100 heavily armed MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) rebels, a group founded by former University of the Philippines professor Nur Misuari in the 1960s to fight against the Marcos regime which became one of the world’s longest rebellions and one that has already taken more than 150,000 lives, stormed the coastal barangays of the city at dawn of Sunday, September 8, 2013, to declare independence.

MNLF Nur Misuari had once signed a peace pact under the administration of the then president Fidel Ramos in 1996 and became the governor of the (ARMM) Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao. The ARMM was a failed experiment as it not only failed to remedy poverty but the peace and order situation as well worsened. The present administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino now recognized the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), a breakaway group of MNLF founded by Hashim Salamat in 1977, to become the front runner of the peace and development in the ARMM.

The MNLF leader, Misuari, may have had an ill feeling for having him set aside by the Aquino admistration and the attack of Zamboanga might be just his own way of getting attention. Still, he can’t just violate the law of the land and get away with it. It’s about time (although I would personally suggest this should have been addressed and done a long time ago) the government must decide what to do with him and his rebellion. Enough has been done and a lot has already been sacrificed. If the government has already given all the options but still it wouldn’t work, then why not destroy the subject once and for all?

Zamboanga city or Ciudad de Zamboanga in Spanish is Asia’s premier Latin city located in the southwestern part of Mindanao island, southern Philippines. It’s a beautiful city with Hispanic influences and culture could still be seen today. For the Moro rebels to just destroy it at will is what we all cannot allow to happen.


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