Inter-religious group to gov’t: Stop killings in Zambo

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/03 April) – The Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace today asked authorities to put a stop to the unresolved killings in Zamboanga City that have claimed dozens of victims since January this year.

In a statement, the group cited that the killing on Sunday of Arturo F. Eustaquio III, president of Universidad de Zamboanga “has shocked former and present city residents, and hopefully the city’s authorities from their smug complacency as well.”

The statement said that Eustaquio, the 61st victim this year, was “not an ordinary citizen” but a  respected education official and a member of a prominent family.

“Eustaquio’s death is but a climax to the long-rising sense of frustration mixed with dread of local residents over the series of violent killings in the city, mostly in public and always with the use of guns, for the past so many months,” it added.

The statement was signed by Fr. Angel Calvo, Prof. Ali Yacub, Rev. Paulino Ersando and Nulhamdo Cegales, IRSMP convenors.

IRSMP asked Mayor Celso Lobregat “to take seriously his job in regard to his constituents’ safety, peace and sense of security, to utilize and properly his office’s considerable resources, power and authority for that preeminent concern and need of city residents.”

It also asked President Aquino “to utilize his extraordinary/special powers to order appropriate officials, agencies and sectors to restore and preserve peace and order and the rule of law in Zamboanga City.”

IRSMP said “the people are greatly concerned and fearful now” since “if an assassin can kill with impunity a man of stature like Eustaquio, who then in this city can be safe from a similar attack?”
“Nobody in this so-called Asia’s Latin City in which the rule of law is now teetering on the brink of a total collapse, if not already,” it added. (MindaNews)