ILOILO -- San Joaquin Mayor Eduardo Servidad has cautioned residents to be careful in entering the municipal cemetery by avoiding the nearby Campo Santo chapel, where an illegal digging was discovered recently.
Servidad said the Municipal Government is not preventing the burying of the dead at the cemetery but people must avoid passing the Campo Santo to prevent any untoward accidents.
Policemen and village watchmen were deployed to guide the people in entering the cemetery.
The Campo Santo became controversial when 10 suspected treasure hunters were caught illegally without permit inside the chapel.
Upon investigation, it was reported that Rev. Fr. Nelson Silvela, parish priest of San Joaquin, ordered the diggings every night since December 2015.
The parish priest immediately filed an indefinite leave of absence.
The Jaro Archdiocese then announced the assignment of Rev. Fr. Joenick Teritorio, from the Jaro social action center, as acting parish priest of San Joaquin.
The police had filed a case against the 10 suspected treasure hunters, including Silvela.
On Tuesday, March 1, a team from the National Museum and National Commission on culture and the Arts (NCAA) based in Metro Manila arrived at San Joaquin to inspect and determine the damage done to the chapel inside the town’s cemetery.
The Campo Santo was declared a national cultural treasure by the National Historical Commission last year.