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Beng extols past, modern day heroes

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Mayor Beng Climaco on Monday extolled the heroism, patriotism and sacrifices of past and modern day heroes in the struggle for independence, as she spearheaded together with Presidential Peace Adviser Sec. Jesus Dureza the commemoration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day.

Just like the pillars of independence- Rizal, Bonifacio, Aguinaldo, Vicente Alvarez and many others, the city should also be grateful and remember those who died and sacrificed their lives during the Zamboanga siege in defense of freedom.

“Today, we celebrate our independence as one people, united more than ever, under one flag, one nation and one Zamboanga City,” she declared in her message during the program held at the Rizal park fronting City Hall and attended by multi-sectoral groups in the city. “Our experience during the siege showed that the strength of our people is stronger than the bullets and bombs and we have proven that we can rise up no matter how hard the challenges.”

In the presence of Sec. Dureza, the lady chief executive reiterated her all out support to President Duterte’s declaration of martial law in Mindanao in the wake of the continuing conflict in Marawi City. The city of Zamboanga, she stressed is one with the nation in prayer and action for the attainment of peace and in the recovery efforts to help the displaced residents of Marawi.

“We support President Duterte, the first Mindanaoan president, in his efforts to bring just and lasting peace in Mindanao,” the mayor said as she cited the significance of Dureza’s presence in Zamboanga during the significant celebration of Independence Day.

Nonetheless, she said the peace building advocacy,  “ironic as it may seem, lies in the efforts of every citizen” . The residents, she added must not totally rely on the military, police and government officials, as everyone has the responsibility towards peace building.

The well-attended celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day in Zamboanga was simultaneous in all other parts of the country. The occasion marked the day when the country was emancipated from decades of Spanish colonial reign.

Also present at the ceremony were District II Cong. Manix Dalipe, Vice Mayor Cesar Iturralde, members of the City Council, Police Regional Director PCSupt. Billy Beltran, officials and representatives from the police and military and other government and non-government agencies, people’s organizations, civic groups, the academe and all other stakeholders. (Sheila Covarrubias)