A brief history…

“It was on this day 12 years ago when the Philippine government recognized Zamboanga Sibugay as the 79th province of the country following an overwhelming YES vote in a plebiscite conducted on February 22, 2001 by virtue of RA. 8973 as signed by then President Joseph Estrada. The YES team was composed of volunteers from all walks of life, mainly from the Municipality of Ipil, which eventually branched out to the other towns of the then 3rd District of Zamboanga del Sur. While many believed that the dream of creating the new province will remain a dream, the YES team believed, hoped and worked for the realization of that dream. Movement for the creation of Zamboanga Sibugay or YES team organized after seeing the efforts of then Congressman George T. Hofer M.D., and despite the oppositions from many political figures, the province was created AGAINST ALL ODDS. The YES team initiated the campaign for yes vote which resulted to 95% of the total turn out of votes in the plebiscite. After the creation of the province, the group kept silence with the thought that it will be a guardian for good governance in the province. 12 years later the YES team is back.” (D. Santuyo, 02.24.2013)

12 years later…

12 years later—the day is February 24, 2013, the first official gathering of the YES MOVEMENT members took a stage at Southwoods Resto to commemorate the birthing pangs, believing that the YES MOVEMENT, the group behind the plebiscite in 2001, has a significant role for Zamboanga Sibugay.

Today, we also remember the people behind YES who passed away; forever they will be remembered. And today sparks a new challenge for the non-partisan movement, to take bold steps to strengthen the group and make concrete plans for the group and its beloved baby–“province” who is now young at 12. Our advocacy and campaign is geared towards remembering that whoever administration is in power, let it be known that it was YES Movement (and the other movements since time immemorial) has given birth to what is called the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay.

And on this day, we officially read how the YES Movement was born—owing to a number of people, 49 in counting, and that is 49 different stories. The reading was merely contributed by two or three heads, and we still have 46 to go. And we will do that. We believe in historical dialogue. Ours couldn’t be put to oblivion.

The movement’s role goes beyond being the people behind the plebiscite and it would not end just there, now it has reasons to concretize its role for it has the duty and the responsibility of guiding a growing child who is just 12 years young.

An impression…

On two different occasions, I was asked a question as to the issue of YES being a non-partisan. First I answered; it was created not for the first governor but was created for the plebiscite. Owing to that of course is the role played by then Cong. George T. Hofer, M.D. for the signing of the bill.

Secondly, I frankly answered; if YES was a partisan group, having vested interests and are self serving, not even 10% of its members and their families were afforded employment. Who is reaping the benefits of its creation? The group was self-reliant until today, always living within the KKB system—that is, “kuot-kuot sa bulsa”. During the time of the three terms of the first governor, YES was partly “forgotten” if not “neglected.” Again who toiled the labour?

And finally, YES has not sustained its legal identity for a number of reasons and for this we, the new breed of generation, junior members-children members, is faced with a great challenge and a great awakening to live up to the expectations of the seemingly dying movement while most of our predecessors are still alive and able to  guide.

It can be noticed that some members are alliance of the first governor and that is a fact that we can’t deny. But this does not mean that having them around constitute what we call YES as a partisan group. I am NO TO POLITICS and I am a junior member replacing my father, the person who died 21 days after plebiscite. Undeniably true, anybody can think of political colour here.

A reason to celebrate…

Yes! Sibugay is now 12. A year later she will be in her teens. A decade in existence has proven it can walk. Like a toddler, it sailed rough roads; it stumbled down many times. Whatever transpired in the journey, we still have a reason to celebrate for she has gone this far.

The dates…

February 22 Plebiscite Day

February 24 Proclamation Day

The unsung heroes…

Our Men

Venancio Ferrer, Jr., President (deceased)

Eufemio Javier, Vice President

Ofelia Thompson, Secretary

Consuelo Schuck, Treasurer

Alberto Alcoriza, PRO

Juan Gatchalian, Auditor

Romeo Oxenio, Director

Manuel Santuyo, Director (deceased)

Ester Yukoya, Director

Felipe Salinas, Director

Resurreccion La Plana, Director (deceased)

Berardo Faundo, Director

Leonardo Angeles, Director

Tomas Delos Reyes, Director

Lito Yap, Director (deceased)

Avelino Giduquio, Director

Salip Hasan Hashim, Director

Lim Hasim, Director

Benjamin Vina, Director (deceased)

Roseller Ebol, Director

Dan Erasmo, Member

Winnie Ignacio, Member

Marites Ton-ogan, Member

Regino Ricafort, Member

Ronald Magat, Member

Jesusa Cuamag, Member

Julie Puasa, Member

Eddie Sionillo, Member

Diobil Lao, Member

Remegio Helar, Member (deceased)

Jose Musngi, Member

Amadeo Ferraris, Member

George Thompson, Member

Dodong Matugas, Member

Daphne Mercado, Member

Florita Montecillo, Member

Fe Santuyo, Member

Fe Encarnacion, Member (deceased)

Efrain Mercado, Member

Victor Merjuar, Member

Ruth Echaveria, Member

Gerome Patenio, Member

Titing Montecillo, Member

Sahisa Otto, Member

Danny Carreon, Coordinator, RTLim

Oscar Catubig, Coordinator, Diplahan

Noli Sumayang, Coordinator, Diplahan

Raymond Fiesta, Coordinator, Imelda

Oscar Balagot, Coordinator, Malangas

And the many support groups…

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