Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas In Zamboanga

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / December 26, 2009) – The city of Zamboanga in the southern Philippines had virtually turned into garrison with dozens of soldiers and policemen deployed in the busy business district to guard against threats of terror attacks.

About three platoons of army soldiers set up a tactical command post inside a public square called Plaza Pershing. An ambulance and a military truck were parked nearby.

The square was colorfully lighted, but there was no Santa Claus. Instead, the shadow of command post where soldiers stood guard reminded residents of Christmas in Israel where security forces guarded every corner against attacks from Palestinian militants.

A radio station dxRZ reported that on Christmas Eve until the next day, soldiers were stationed inside the Plaza Pershing, named after an infamous American general John “Black Jack” Pershing, who fought hostile fanatical Moros at Mount Bagsak in the southern Philippine island of Jolo on June 15, 1913.

One radio report said troops, for a still unknown reason, also prevented residents inside the plaza, a favorite among lovers and picnickers where a huge Christmas tree was erected.

Around downtown Zamboanga, policemen and soldiers armed with automatic rifles, guarded outside department stores and Christmas celebration passed without any incidents. And the yuletide season will be best remembered this year in Zamboanga, former capital of the Moro province. (Mindanao Examiner)

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