Human Remains Discovered Inside Former Spanish Garrison In South RP

September 3, 2007 at 2:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 03 Sept) – Construction workers have dug up dozens of human remains inside a former Spanish garrison in Zamboanga city in southern Philippines.

“The remains were probably soldiers killed during the Spanish war. It was the second time that human skeletons were discovered here since the 1970s. The site was a former battle field during the Spanish war,” said Victoria Saavedra, chief administrative officer of the Zamboanga City State College of Marine Science and Technology.

She said construction workers were digging canals near a marine aquarium in the area when they discovered the bones Sunday.

“They were digging about six feet already when they discovered the bones scattered all over. There were pieces of broken skulls and jaws and other bones,” she told the Mindanao Examiner.

Saavedra said no artifacts were found on the site, where many human skeletons had been recovered also in the 1970s.

The site was once part of a stone fort built on June 23, 1635 by the Jesuit priest Melchor de Vera as a military defense structure against the Moros and pirates.

It was originally named as Real Fuerza de San José and in 1719 renamed Real Fuerza de Nuestra Señora del Pilar de Zaragoza, which roughly means the “Royal Force of Our Lady of the Pillar of Zaragoza.” It was again renamed as “Fort Pilar” after its capture by the American forces in 1899.

The fort was attacked by the Dutch in 1646 and destroyed by Moro pirates in 1669 and again in 1720. It was reconstructed, but bombarded by the British in 1798.

It was abandoned by the Spaniards in 1898 and captured by U.S. expeditionary forces on November 16, 1899 until the fort was captured by the Japanese forces in 1942. Three years later, it was recaptured by the Americans and turned over to the government of the Republic of the Philippines on July 4, 1946. (Mindanao Examiner)

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