THE local government, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), held a mass burial Monday, November 29, for 33 unclaimed cadavers that have been stored in a local morgue for one year.

CSWDO Chief Maria Soccrro Rojas said that 25 of the 33 cadavers were males and seven were females, while one was a fetus of unknown gender.

Rojas said they were buried at the City Government-owned public cemetery in Talabaan village after blessing rites presided by a priest at the grounds of the Villa Funeral Homes.

"Regardless of their religious affiliation and circumstances of death, the cadavers deserve decent burial," Rojas said.

Most of the cadavers were either crime victims and found in secluded areas, while others died of natural causes in public hospitals or on streets, according to Rojas.

She said no relative or friends have claimed their remains since they were turned over to the Villa Funeral Homes, a city-contracted morgue.

The CSWDO conducts mass burial for unclaimed cadavers every year, based on a city ordinance and the City Government shoulders the expenses for embalming, storage and coffins. (SunStar Zamboanga)