Latest Stories

ARMM gov downplays religion angle in Zambo siege

By , Charlie Señase Inquirer Mindanao

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman. INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Gov. Mujiv Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) on Saturday sought to ease growing tensions between Muslims and Christians in Mindanao, saying that the current siege of Zamboanga City by Moro gunmen and the spillover to Basilan was “not a religious issue.”

Hataman issued the appeal amid reports that animosity between Muslims and Christians in the city was increasing.

“Let us look at it carefully. This is a matter of terrorism; that is what the government is fighting against,” he told the Inquirer by phone.

Hataman advised residents of Zamboanga City, and Mindanao in general, not to be misled by deceptive tactics aimed at putting religious color to the conflict and driving a wedge between Muslims and Christians.

“We need to be properly informed and not believe in deceptions,” he said.

Hataman pointed out that most of those displaced by the violence were Muslims.

“Look at the population of Rio Hondo, Sta. Catalina, Kasanyangan and Sta. Barbara, the majority is made up of Muslims. The barangay captains are mostly Muslims,” he said.

He said this was also the situation in Basilan. “Halos Muslim ang apektado so nasaan ang religious color doon (Almost all those affected are Muslims so where is the religious color there)?” Hataman said.


62, 329 displaced

As of Saturday, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s operations center in Zamboanga City reported that 62,329 individuals had been displaced and were staying in around 20 evacuation centers as fighting in parts of the city entered its sixth day.

The increase in the number of displaced persons was brought about by renewed skirmishes between Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) men and government security forces.

“A lot of people, about 90 percent of them Muslim, are suffering from this manmade calamity that (MNLF Chair Nur) Misuari is answerable for,” Hataman said by phone.

“Let us unite against terrorism and let us pray that this would be over soon,” he added.

The ARMM governor also urged Misuari to come out and explain what was going on.

“If we send to jail a man for stealing a cell phone, why can’t we send to jail a man who uses terror to further his ambitions?” Hataman said.

“This is the making of Misuari’s faction and as MNLF leader, it is his command responsibility to explain what the skirmishes and hostage-taking of mostly innocent Moro civilians are all about,” he said.

The MNLF forces, most of them armed, arrived in Zamboanga City before dawn on Monday, saying that they were scheduled to hold a peace rally at Plaza Pershing, which is in front of city hall. Their presence caused panic among residents, and it later led to skirmishes with government forces.

Related Stories:

No ceasefire with MNLF

Aquino warns MNLF rebels

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: ARMM , Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao , Basilan , Moro gunmen , Mujiv Hataman , Muslim , Zamboanga siege

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • Tagle: Christ’s resurrection a message of hope to faithful
  • Aquino vows to intensify anti-corruption drive further
  • Unease in Vatican over cardinal’s luxury flat—report
  • Nepal calls off search for missing guides on Everest—official
  • Pope’s Easter Message ‘Urbi et Orbi’
  • Sports

  • Rain or Shine grabs No.4, sends Ginebra to 8th
  • Red-hot Alaska rips injury-depleted San Mig Coffee
  • Pacquiao courtesy call to Aquino set for Monday
  • Nick Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk
  • Teague scores 28 as Hawks soar past Pacers in Game 1
  • Lifestyle

  • Angono petroglyphs in danger of disappearing
  • Britain’s baby Prince George visits Australian zoo
  • Noli Yamsuan, Cardinal Sin’s ‘official’ photographer: ‘I could smell the aftershave lotion of the Pope’
  • Simplifying and lightening life
  • Where to go for Easter night-out
  • Entertainment

  • Show-biz celebrities’ other choices of summer getaway
  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Business

  • Top-selling insurance agent opens her dream café
  • Connecting and transacting with one another
  • Building wealth for health
  • Why Mandaue Foam buys, rather than rents, space
  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Epiphany
  • Unpaid creditor vs distressed debtor
  • Moving on
  • From culinary desert to paradise
  • Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’
  • Global Nation

  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Asia seeks Obama’s assurance in territorial spats
  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Marketplace