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‘Undas’ in Zamboanga City generally peaceful

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The observance of All Saints’ Day is generally peaceful except for some confusion in the implementation of an executive order issued by City Hall regulating the bringing of objects inside cemeteries in this city.

Senior Insp. Shellamie Chang, Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO) spokesperson, said so far, they have not monitored any incident in the different cemeteries.

The ZCPO has deployed 1,300 personnel with augmentation of another 300 men from the Police Regional Office-9 to the 38 cemeteries here.

Of the total, five are classified as major cemeteries, which are all located within the seven-kilometer radius of this city.

“So far there was no untoward incident that was reported to us,” Chang said.

She said there was an electrocution incident, but “it was not related to the observance of the All Saints’ Day.”

Alshamir Abduraji, 22, was welding a steel gate at the Armor Village in Barangay San Jose Gusu when he was electrocuted around 9:40 a.m. Thursday.

Abduraji, who suffered burns, was rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Chang said there was confusion earlier as to the bringing of matches and spoon and fork inside cemeteries but “this was immediately addressed by us.”

Earlier Thursday, people visiting their departed loved ones to light candles and offer prayers complained that they were only allowed by policemen posted at the gate to bring into the cemeteries at least 10 match sticks.

“Matches are allowed into the cemeteries. There was no limitation or control as to the quantity,” Chang said over a local radio station. Spoons and forks are also allowed, she added.

Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar issued Executive Order No. 422 that prohibits the bringing of lighters, firearms, bladed weapons and other similar items inside the premises of public and private cemeteries during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, respectively.

The prohibition, especially on lighters, was recommended by the explosive and ordnance division of the ZCPO, explaining that lighters can explode when exposed to heat or thrown on hard surface and can be used as explosives per se. (Teofilo Garcia, Jr/PNA)

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