Mayor John Dalipe issued on Thursday an executive order remembering the valor and gallantry of 38 security forces and civilian fallen heroes, and commemorating September 9 of every year as “Day of Remembrance” in observance of the days of infamy known as the 2013 Zamboanga Siege.
Dalipe’s declaration came ahead of the commemorative program Friday, marking the 9th year of the 21-day battle between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) fighters belonging to the group’s founder Nur Misuari faction.
At least six mostly coastal barangays were directly hit by the ground, air and sea battles that left 153 MNLF fighters dead, 278 arrested and 9,722 houses worth P200,830 million destroyed by fire and artillery.
It also resulted in an unprecedented humanitarian crisis as 22,196 families involving 122,226 individuals displaced.
Twenty-one days into the battle, the city’s air and sea ports were closed, paralyzing trade links with neighboring provinces and the entire country, causing an economic loss of approximately P331 million every day.
In his Executive Order No. JD 2022-046, Dalipe said remembering the infamy nine years ago is also a time for recollection and honor the heroism, gallantry and valor of the 25 military and police officers who laid their precious lives defending the city, its people’s democratic ideals and way of life.
“This is also a time to remember 13 of our civilian brothers and sisters whose lives were sacrificed by the senselessness of the siege,” Dalipe said in reference to Friday’s commemorative program at the Rizal Plaza.-(Vic Larato)