Terror threat shuts down Zambo cell sites

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ZAMBOANGA CITY: Two telecommunications company – Globe Telecom and Smart Communications – on Saturday shut down their cell sites here as locals were celebrating the month-long feast of the Virgin Mary – for fear that terrorists may set off bombs during the annual festival.

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The temporary loss of mobile signal coincided with the parade in downtown Zamboanga joined by hundreds of people.

Globe Telecom, in an advisory sent to its subscribers, said: “For your security, the National Telecommunications Commission mandated a temporary loss of mobile signal in Zamboanga City this afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. during the Hermosa Festival.”

The Hermosa Festival, locally known as Zamboanga La Hermosa Festival, is one of the oldest festivities in the Philippines and the most awaited event in the region annually celebrated for one month.

Smart did not issue any advisory.

The local government and police authorities also prohibited the parking of vehicles in areas where the parade passed. It also banned motorcycle riders from wearing crash helmets and civilians were not allowed to use hooded jackets and ball caps and from carrying backpacks in downtown Zamboanga.

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