Street sweeper foils attempt to burn market
ZAMBOANGA CITY – The local government has ordered police authorities to investigate a foiled attempt to burn a public market in downtown Zamboanga City in southern Philippines.
A street sweeper, Roman Francisco, who works in the market, spotted and chased a masked man who tried to pour gasoline on a store in the market’s Row E last week.
Francisco recovered a plastic gallon containing gasoline left behind by the suspect and reported the matter to the market security guard Rudy Gustillo, who immediately phoned the police about the foiled arson.
“Further investigation revealed that based on the statement of Roman Francisco, while he was doing his normal duty at the said market, apparently, he saw one male person carrying one small gallon and was actually pouring the content of it on the mentioned store. Roman shouted and chased the male person who immediately ran,” said Chief Inspector Rogelio Alabata, the regional police spokesman.
He said the police were investigating the arson attempt.
Last October 31, a huge fire hit the market site in downtown Zamboanga and killed 15 people and seriously injured 5. The blaze burned a huge part of the market. Most of the victims owned stalls in in the market, but were illegally sleeping there.
Mayor Beng Climaco ordered a thorough investigation into the tragedy that left P8 million in properties up in smoke. She said an initial report pointed to a stall owned by Mannan as the origin of the fire which quickly spread throughout the block in a busy area called Magay.