No mass grave in Pinamungajan
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The municipal government of Pinamungajan debunked reports circulating on social media, alleging that they recently opened a mass grave to address the rising number of COVID-related fatalities.
The locality’s Public Information Office (PIO), in a post on social media, clarified that what the town has is a new cemetery, and currently serves as the final resting place for patients that succumbed to the infection.
“The local government of Pinamungajan, Cebu strongly belies all claims that it maintains a mass grave for deaths related to COVID-19,” portions of the post read.
The town’s new cemetery opened in 2020 and was divided into three sections – apartment type, ground burial or lawn lots, and mausoleum.
With a land area of approximately 21,000 square kilometers, it was created to decongest the old municipal cemetery.
“The new municipal cemetery was intended to be an upgrade of the old municipal cemetery. However, this is still a work in progress. Construction of the other portion of this burial place is still on-going and will continue until its desired design is attained,” the post stated.
The municipal government also said their new cemetery is the only burial site that meets the criteria on proper burial and managing of COVID-positive cadavers as mandated by Memorandum Circular No. 2020-063 of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Further, all the dead bodies buried therein have their own separate grave, contrary to claims that it is a mass grave, subject to certain specifications mandated by the national government. The local government of Pinamungajan gives high respect and value even to our departed constituents. Thus, it is absolutely false that we merely bury them in a mass grave,” they added.
Pinamungajan is a second-class town located around 59 kilometers southwest of Cebu City, and is presently under ‘General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions’.
Based on the COVID-19 tracker of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), the municipality recorded a total of 434 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of September 2. Of this number, 65 are active infections, and 15 were mortalities.