The city government of Zamboanga said that the Office of the President has approved the allocation of PhP124 million for the purchase of the Mindeva property and the construction of a Philippine Marine Corps base in Rio Hondo. Zamboanga city Mayor Beng Climaco said the budget for the military facility will be made available to the Department of National Defense (DND).
Mayor Climaco noted that the Philippine Navy is now coordinating with the DND for the implementation of the project.
“Rio Hondo was one of the staging areas of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels under the faction of Nur Misuari during the September 9 (2013) siege that paralyzed activities in Zamboanga for over 20 days,” Zamboanga city government said in a statement.
The decision to establish a military security camp in the said location was based on the post conflict needs assessment (PCNA) conducted by the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and other agencies.
Establishment of such facility in the area is seen to help ensure security in Rio Hondo and the neighboring areas considered as vulnerable to lawless elements and other illegal activities.
Mayor Climaco has sought the intervention of Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin to intercede for the expeditious release of remaining funds under the Zamboanga City Roadmap to Recovery and Reconstruction (Z3R) Plan as well as the funds needed by the sectors listed in the PCNA document.