2 mountain climbers rescued in Zambo on Maundy Thursday

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Mindanews/22 April) – Two people who climbed on Maundy Thursday the highest peak of Zamboanga Peninsula were safely rescued by policemen and volunteers from the Philippine National Red Cross-Zamboanga City chapter.

Rescued from Pulong Bato in Barangay Pasonanca were Windel Patagoc, a government employee and  a native of Malate, Manila, and Gunner Berma, a resident of Barangay Boalan of this city.

Chief Insp. Felixberto Martinez, commander of the Zamboanga City Police Office Station 7, said Patagoc and Berma were rescued around 5 p.m. Thursday.

Martinez said the two trekked Pulong Bato around 11 a.m. even if they did not bring the logistics needed for mountain climbing.

Patagoc and Berma were among the thousands of Catholic faithful who flock to the Mayor Cesar C. Climaco Freedom Park for the traditional vigil and Way of the Cross Prayers on Maundy Thursday.

The station of the cross is located at the foot of Pulong Bato, which is of solid rock and is the highest mountain in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula.

The Climaco Freedom Park, also known as the Abong-Abong Park, is an annual pilgrimage site of both domestic and foreign Catholic devotees who observe the Holy Week by meditating the passion and death of Jesus Christ.

Martinez said Patagoc and Berma encountered difficulties in going down from Pulong Bato “as the mountain was slippery due to sudden rainfall” prompting him to organize a combined team of rescuers.

Martinez said the two suffered abrasions and were taken to the hospital right after they were rescued. (MindaNews)