A hole in a building in Lustre Street peers through a mosque. Many of these buildings were left in tatters during the Zamboanga standoff last September. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
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Children scour the roads towards Barangay Santa Catalina, Zamboanga City in search of scrap wood and other things, two months after the Zamboanga standoff burned hundreds of houses here. (davaotoday.com photo by Earl O. Condeza)
Older sister smiles while younger sister stares emptily at their evacuation center in Zamboanga City’s Enriquez Memorial Complex, two months after the Zamboanga siege. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
photos by ACE R. MORANDANTE DAVAO TODAY Zamboanga City – Two months after the Zamboanga siege, the ruins of Santa…
“Long-term counselling is needed because it will take a long time for them to overcome their trauma and fears. Not all children can cope, some are still afraid of the slightest noise, from fallen cabinet or things. Others who see men in fatigue uniforms thought there is another war,” said (Children’s Rehabilitation Center) CRC spokesperson Jacquiline Ruiz
Balsa noted that 24,000 families have been displaced due to the conflict, 24,000 schoolchildren affected and 46,000 made jobless. International groups said this comprised a humanitarian crisis.
The bishop said “instead of political negotiation which is closer to the ‘straight path’, the Aquino government intentionally took the ‘warpath’ in the Zamboanga crisis. Aquino’s war has clearly led to a bigger problem than its intended outcome.”
Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) Davao City Chairman Rolando Olamit called out to fellow MNLF fighters and the government to re-open the door for talks to stop the bloodshed in Zamboanga City. Olamit joined a peace rally initiated by the Philippine national Police and the Arrmed Forces of the Philippines at Rizal Park last Wednesday. (davaotoday.com photo by Ace R. Morandante)
Prof. Ali Ayub, the secretary-general of the National Ulama Conference of the Philippines in the Zambasulta Region said his group and civil society organizations offered viable options to the Crisis Management Committee to break the standoff sooner between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) followers of Chairman Nur Misuari, and state security forces in Zamboanga.
The NDF spokesperson also said the Moro struggle would not end with the recent armed conflict, pointing out that the “(t)he reactionary regime’s divide-and-rule tactic would merely delay the fruition of the true aspirations of the Moro people.” “We are most certain that, should the GPH succeed to encumber one group, others would rise in its place to continue the struggle to resolve the fundamental problems of the Moro people,” Ka Oris aid.