After the violence, Ateneo imposes stricter security in Zamboanga City

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The Jesuit-run Ateneo de Zamboanga University has imposed a strict security measure following September attacks by separatist rebels in Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.

It also banned vehicles inside the university campus forcing parents or their drivers to park or fetch students outside causing heavy traffic along the narrow La Purisima Road near downtown Zamboanga.

“In view of the recent crisis that has affected the city since last month, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University has employed stricter measures for security purposes,” it said in a memorandum dated October 25.

The order took effect November 5 which coincided with the resumption of classes for grade school.


“To strengthen and support the security and safety measures of the University, there will be no drive-thru effective November 5. Drop-off and pick-up of students may be along La Purisima and Nunez Street. Parents, guardians and fetchers are advised to give clear instructions to their children and wards as to which waiting area they will be fetched. There shall be assigned teachers who will be bringing the students to the preferred waiting area,” the memorandum said.

Ateneo said the measure is also in compliance with the order of the Department of Education on campus security. But the government order was dated 2011.

“The order stipulates that only bonafide students shall be allowed in the school campus. No visitors, including parents, guardians or tutors shall be allowed inside the campus during and after school hours except for valid reasons and with prior approval of the unit head,” the memorandum, signed by Father Karel San Juan, the university president, further said.

It was unknown whether the Parents and Teachers Association were consulted about the new order. Prior to the break out of violence in Zamboanga, parents and vehicles of students with Ateneo car pass, were allowed inside the campus.

The fighting in Zamboanga which began on September 9 and lasted three weeks left over 400 people dead and wounded. And since then, Zamboanga has been under curfew from originally from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. and recently Mayor Maria Isabelle Salazar adjusted this from 12 midnight to 4 a.m. She said the military has not allowed the lifting of the curfew almost two months after the violence. Al Jacinto

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