MAYOR BENG CLIMACO’S OFFICIAL STATEMENT (September 9, 2013)

The City Government is mobilizing all resources to address the situation brought about by the infiltration of alleged MNLF members in some coastal barangays.


We are in close coordination with our police and military authorities and everything is being done to solve the crisis the soonest possible time with minimal damage to lives and properties.

Since the start of the crisis at around 4:30am today, the ZCPO report that 6 people were killed—one policemen,  1 navy personnel and 4 civilians and 24 wounded in the course of the encounter between government troops and the rebels. More casualties are reported on the enemy side.

The barangays affected are Sta. Catalina, Sta. Barbara, Talon-talon and Mampang. 20 hostages are reported in Sta. Catalina and 200 hostages at Kasanyangan Village in Mampang.

Some 600 evacuees from Arena Blanco and Rio Hondo are sheltered at the grandstand; 847 evacuees at Tetuan Central School and Tetuan Parish Church while several others are at the Talon-talon National High School.

The City Health Office in cooperation with the private hospitals are setting up an emergency hospital at the grandstand where all victims will be directed. Ambulances from public and private hospitals will be stationed in the area.

The city has set up a command center with City Administrator Antonio Orendain Jr. as ground supervisor sub-center. Hotline number is 992-2385 or 992-3137.

City Police OIC Director Col. Chiquito Malayo and Task Force Zamboanga are designated ground commanders. Police hotline numbers are 117/ 166 and 09063680749.

We will be coming out with hourly bulletins with official statements coming from my office through tweeter account @zamboangacitygov’t, city government and Beng Climaco facebook accounts.

We appeal to the media not to sensationalize or leak sensitive information so as not to jeopardize the operations of our authorities.

Zamcelco has been asked to exert all efforts to prevent power interruptions or curtailment while the situation is still unresolved.

Early this morning we have suspended classes in all levels both public and private institutions as well as declared the suspension of work in all offices.

The City Peace and Order Council has established sub-committees to look into the different aspects of the crisis situation.

I am in touch with President Aquino and the Executive Department and they are monitoring and helping us resolve this concern.

We appeal to media to coordinate with the City Hall Communications Team for updates and collaboration so as not to confuse the public as well as not jeopardize operations of our authorities.

The public is advised to remain calm but vigilant and alert, report anything suspicious or unusual happening in your locality.`