13 September 2013
President Benigno S. Aquino III personally checked the situation in Zamboanga City amidst the standoff between the Philippine military and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
As the clash continued on its fifth day, President Aquino spoke before hundreds of soldiers at the Naval Forces Western Mindanao Headquarters who fought against the rebels that took 6 barangays in the said city since Monday (September 9).
“Mga kasama, andito ako para ipadama sa inyo na buong bayan ay kasama ninyo dito sa napakabigat na misyon na ginagawa natin dito,” assured the Commander-in-Chief.
As he led the distribution of the provisions, he expressed his gratitude to the military forces for responding beyond the call of duty. He made it clear that every life is important saying, “pipilitin pa rin natin na bawat dugo, pati na nung naliligaw, ay mahalaga. Pilitin natin na huwag tayong dumanak ng mas marami pang dugo.”
After his stay in the headquarters, the President proceeded to Camp Navarro General Hospital to check on the soldiers who got badly wounded during the exchange of fire with the MNLF.
As of September 12, an estimated number of 10,000 residents have evacuated in Joaquin F. Enriquez Memorial Sports Complex as tensions prolonged. They came from the 6 barangays that were infiltrated by the MNLF namely Talon-talon, Mampang, Kasanyangan, Sta. Barbara, Sta. Catalina, and Rio Hondo.