Zamboanga City Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco said at a hearing of the Senate committees on local government and peace on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law Thursday that the city will not join the proposed Bangsamoro territory. Zamboanga also rejected to be included in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, which the Bangsamoro tries to replace.
“The city of Zamboanga should never form part nor be included in the Bangsamoro now or ever,” Climaco said, eliciting applause from the audience. None of its 98 component barangays or any part, zone, sitio therefore should ever be included in the Bangsamoro now or ever,” Mayor Climaco said.
“Let it be known that we stand united behind our Lumad, Christian, and Muslim brothers and sisters not to be part of the Bangsamoro,” said Councilor Ismael Musa, who represents indigenous peoples in Zamboanga’s city council.
Aside from Zamboanga, Isabela City, which is included in the proposed core territory of Bangsamoro, also rejects inclusion in the region.
“They confiscated the voice of God and the voice of Allah from the people of Isabela who have expressed their will through scared ballots that they opt to stay out in the ARMM twice,” Pioquinto said, referring to Isabela’s inclusion in the proposed core territory. “This is the third time that they wanted Isabela to be included. One is enough, two is too much, third is already poisonous,” said Leonardo Pioquinto, who is speaking on behalf of Isabela residents.