The Ateneo de Zamboanga University held a prayer rally on June 24, 2013 at the La Purisima St to call for justice and condemn the violence that has plagued Zamboanga city recently. Students, faculty, and administrators gathered at three in the afternoon to remember the most recent shooting victim, Justine Raphael Wee. Another victim mentioned was Justine Atilano. Both were alumni of the university.
The ADZU community also prayed for the safe recovery of the recent victims of kidnapping. Special prayers were offered for the safety of the Nadjoua Bansil and Linda Bansil who were kidnapped in Sulu while they were producing for a documentary film.
During the rally Fr Buddy Wee SJ, Justine Wee’s uncle, Gio Mangaya-ay, classmate, and Dean Lorna Paber, Dean of the School of Nursing, shared stories about Justine Wee.
OIC Father President Wilfred Samson SJ led the community in condemning the violence happening in the city and urging the local government to take steps to address the challenges it poses. A tarpaulin calling for justice for all the shooting victims was raised. This ceremony was led by Fr Albert Alejo SJ who questioned the perceived incompetence of the local government in addressing the security problem.
A candle lighting ceremony marked the end of the program where each individual offered their own prayers for the victims.
As a stakeholder in the continuing struggle for peace and security in the region, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University is currently taking steps to organize a synergized response on the issue.