'Rehabilitating Zamboanga City won't be easy'
MANILA - Zamboanga City Rep. Celso Lobregat said rehabilitating the city after the armed conflict with the Nur Misuari faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) will not be easy and will take a lot of time.
"Nakaawa yung siyudad namin. Nakakaawa, nakakaiyak," he said.
Nonetheless, Lobregat thanked the national government for the P3.8 billion in rehabilitation funds already made available. He noted that the situation has not been resolved yet, which is why he cannot answer if the figure is going to be sufficient.
He said the city was left at a standstill even if the siege only covered 5 barangays. He said the city is larger than Metro Manila and has porous coastlines.
Lobregat was in his district for most of the conflict last week and he thanked national government officials led by President Aquino for the attention they gave the city.
He said the conflict can be traced to the grievances of MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari – from his alleged exclusion in the peace process in Mindanao and the closure of the tripartite review on the implementation of the 1996 MNLF Peace Agreement.
Lobregat said the conflict has taken this long to resolve because of the government's commitment to ensure that all the hostages are protected.
Lobregat returned to Manila for his sponsorship and defense of the Energy department's budget.