Zamboanga City, Philippines is known to be the city of flowers. It has been a home for Subanons, Samals and Badjaos in Mindanao. The city has an undeniable progress through the centuries in terms of economy, tourism and other aspects. The dominant religion of the city is Christianity with 73% and the remaining 27% are Muslims who practiced Islam as their religion. Despite this religious differences, people in the city live harmoniously until September 9, 2013 came.
When a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) under the leadership of Nur Misuari seized hostages in Zamboanga and attempted to raise the flag of the self-proclaimed Bangsamoro Republik, a state which declared its independence earlier in August at City Hall. This armed incursion has been met by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) which seeks to free the hostages and the expel of MNLF in the city. The stand off has degenerated into urban warfare and brought parts of the city under red alerts until today.
Many houses were burned, armies were killed, civilians were injured and thousands of residents were evacuating and chose to leave their houses for having no choice. It has been three weeks. When will be the end of this? Every time I watch the news, it breaks my heart to see men, women and children run for their lives. It hurts to see people who are craving for food in evacuation centers. How about those people who lost their lives because of this chaotic occurrence? Filipino versus Filipino. They are of the same country and above all, they are of the same blood. Is it supposed to be like this? Is killing will solve this problem? Absolutely NOT!
We are talking about life here and life is precious. It is a gift. It is not supposed to be destroyed just because of pride, anger, greed and grudge. People died so easily. Please let’s just stop this nonsense because we are not just destroying our own country but we are also destroying ourselves. Instead of killing each other, why not let love reign? Love? Yes, because I do believe that when there is love, there is peace and when there is peace, there is unity and when there is unity, there is progress. Love conquers all.