Cawa-cawa siege commemorated

by Jewel Reyes, ABS-CBN Zamboanga

Posted at Jan 05 2010 10:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 06 2010 06:52 AM

 ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) in Zamboanga City on Monday held a gun salute and offered flowers to monuments of 2 local heroes, marking the 21st anniversary of their deaths during the Cawa-Cawa siege.
General Eduardo Batalla and his chief-of-staff Col. Romeo Abendan were 2 of more than a dozen people killed in the Cawa-cawa Siege in January 5, 1989.
On January 3, renegade policemen Rizal Alih stormed Camp Cawa-cawa and hostaged Batalla. His chief-of-staff Col. Abendan, then one of the youngest full colonels in the force, refused to leave his superior.
The negotiations failed after 3 days. An air strike was then ordered killing Rizal Alih’s cohorts, including the 2 officials.
The present Camp Batalla in Cawa-cawa Zamboanga City was built in memory of those killed.
Each year, similar honors are given to the 2 officials, hoping that the traits displayed by both fallen policemen would pass on to  policemen.
After the honors, a command conference was held where the PNP revealed preparations for the implementation of the election gun ban starting on January 10.