MANILA, Dec. 14, 2014 – Have we forgotten the Zamboanga siege of Sept. 2013? The Kapihan sa Silsilah forum bring back this man-made calamity into focus with the theme “Help Build Back Better Zamboanga: Evaluation 2014; Recommendation 2015 and was held on Dec. 4 at the Sunflower Food center, Zamboanga City.
According to the Silsilah Dialogue Movement (SDM), the event’s main organizer, despite steady progress, thousands of evacuees remain in tents and makeshift houses more than a year after the man-made calamity.
The organizer said one of the major questions raised on the issue of rehabilitation is: “How do we rebuild a better Zamboanga in terms of trust and confidence, to overcome feelings of fear and misunderstanding between Muslims and Christians?”
“Zamboanga is a unique city of multi-cultural and multi-religious reality that hopefully will find proper ways to build intercultural and interreligious atmosphere,” the group added.
On the part of the government, the speaker was Dr. Elmeir Jade E. Apolinario, the assistant city administrator of the government of Zamboanga, and in-charge of the rehabilitation program in the city. He shared the steps being currently done by the government, projecting the perception that things are moving according to schedule, but with some problems along the way. The second speaker was from the media, Ronald “Ronnie” Lledo, the News and Productions Director of GBPI TV11 of Zamboanga. The third speaker was the president of the Silsilah Dialogue Movement, Aminda E. Saño, EDC. Her presentation dealt more on the experiences of how Silsilah helped and inspired others.
“The siege in Zamboanga on September, 2013 remains a painful experience of a war that still leaves wounds and we are committed to find all possible ways to overcome ill feelings with the desire to work together for the common good,” said SDM in a press release.
Attended by more than 100 individuals from the academe, government agencies and selected communities of the city that were affected by the siege of 2013, the forum, says Silsilah, was “active and fruitful.”
The Kapihan sa Silsilah is a regular forum promoted by SDM to focus on relevant issues and to share ideas and suggestions for the common good in a multicultural and multi-religious society. (CBCPNews)