Roxas on anniversary greeting: I didn’t mean to upset Zamboangueños | Inquirer News

Roxas on anniversary greeting: I didn’t mean to upset Zamboangueños

/ 10:36 AM September 11, 2015
Mar Roxas 2

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Outgoing Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II clarified on Friday that he did not intend to offend Zamboangueños when he greeted them

“Happy Anniversary” in connection with the siege of the city last 2013.


Some locals of Zamboanga and netizens took Roxas’ greeting in a Facebook post last September 9 “crazy” and “insensitive.”

READ: Zamboanga City netizens offended by Roxas’ ‘anniversary’ greeting


“Ang pinagdaanan natin noon ay naging pagsubok sa determinasyon at tatag ng mga mamamayan ng Zamboanga noong panahong nabasag ang payapang buhay dahil sa paglusob ng mga pariwarang miyembro ng MNLF. Ang tapang at disiplina ng AFP, PNP at ang pagkakaisa ng mga Zamboangueño ay patunay ng pangingibabaw ng batas at peace and order,” he said in a statement to the media.

(Our experience then tested the determination and the resolve of the residents of Zamboanga when rogue MNLF members tried to destroy the peaceful lives of the people there. The courage and discipline of the AFP and the PNP and the unity of the Zamboangueños are a testament to the triumph of law and of peace and order.)

“It was in this sense that I greeted our compatriots and comrades. To those who may have taken offense, none was intended,” said Roxas.

The original message, which had been changed after it was posted around 8:28 a.m. last Wednesday, was: “Hi fellow veterans of the Zamboanga siege, Happy anniversary. Just wanted to take a moment and reflect and thank you for your leadership and commitment to welfare of our people and country. Maraming salamat (Thank you). Being with you all those 21 days has touched me indelibly. Know that our country stands strong and our flag flies high because of you and the men and women like you. We battle on. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas.”

Few minutes after, the post was edited without the “Happy Anniversary” greeting.

The three-week siege left scores of people dead and injured and 120,000 residents displaced after the armed followers of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and its leader Nur Misuari attempted to take over Zamboanga City in September 2013.

Roxas on Friday is set to officially leave as the Department of Interior and Local Government secretary and will turn over the position to Samar district Representative Mel Senen Sarmiento. Julliane Love de Jesus/IDL

READ: Mar Roxas to turn over DILG post on Friday

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TAGS: Controversy, faux pas, greeting, Mar Roxas, Politics, Zamboanga, Zamboanga siege
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