ZAMBOANGA CITY: Reelectionist mayor Beng Climaco aired an appeal to presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to exclude the city from the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law that seeks to create a separate Muslim territory in the Southern Philippines.
Climaco, who campaigned for Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo of the Liberal Party, sent a congratulatory message to Duterte, and with it, a set of requests that she said will “fuel Zamboanga City’s vision to build back better.”
“The people of Zamboanga have spoken, and their overwhelming choice is Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and as chief executive of the city, I would like to say congratulations to Mayor Duterte and we pray for his success,” Climaco said.
“We have spoken against the inclusion of Zamboanga to the BBL and we are again appealing to presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte to respect the will of the people,” she said.
Climaco also wanted to acquire the Cabatangan property here which is under the Muslim Autonomous Region and the return to Zamboanga of the regional center, which is now Pagadian City. She also requested Duterte to prioritize the construction of a new international airport here.
She said given Duterte’s background in local governance as mayor of Davao City for 21 years, he will be very effective in his stint as the country’s 16th president.
“He has the pulse of a chief executive and he knows the problems on the ground and so he can effectively guide us and respond to our concerns,” Climaco said, adding that she looks forward to Duterte’s new policies and guidance as soon as the new administration assumes office on June 30.
Climaco also expressed her disgust with Teresita Deles, presidential adviser on the peace process, who failed to prevent the attacks by Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) rebels in Zamboanga City in September 2013 that killed many innocent civilians.
Duterte has named former President Gloria Arroyo’s presidential peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, to replace Deles.