Beng leads CCC’s 35th death rites

Mayor Beng Climaco yesterday led government officials, police, military and civic organizations in fitting rites commemorating the 35th death anniversary of Zamboanga City’s legendary mayor, Cesar Cortez Climaco, at his memorial tomb at Abong-Abong Freedom Park in Pasonanca.

In her message, Climaco vividly remembered the memory and legacy of her late uncle Cesar, who risked his life for the love of Zamboanga and its people.

She said Cesar was known to be generous to the children because of his passion … “to nurture the value of love for Zamboanga City.”

The mayor said CCC’s memorial tomb, which was spruced up during her term in Congress, bears the trademark of CCC that stands for a child-friendly city and a child-friendly governance, worthy of emulation by everybody.

Yesterday’s commemorative program dubbed “Dia de Cesar Climaco” started with a mass at 7 a.m. at the Holy Trinity Parish in Pasonanca celebrated by Rev. Fr. Ferdinand “Butch” Candido and choired by the Cantamos Chorale of the Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College.

The mass was followed by wreath laying and commemorative program at Climaco Freedom Park, Abong-Abong with Mayor Climaco leading the singing of “Ay si Cesar,” a Chavacano song inspired by “Oh My Darling Clementine” song that was popularized by CCC.

On Wednesday night, Climaco together with the JCI Movement-Zamboanga also led a candlelight prayer at the marker (fronting La Merced Funeral Homes) at Gov. Alvarez St. where CCC was assassinated while supervising operations to put out the fire that had broken out in a business establishment early morning of Nov. 14, 1984.

Born on Feb. 28, 1916, Cesar, who served as mayor of Zamboanga City for 11 years and three nonconsecutive terms, was a prominent critic of the martial law regime of then President Ferdinand Marcos. He was famed for his toughness in governance and colorful personality, having been famous for his refusal to cut his hair until democratic rule was restored.-(Vic Larato)