Nat’l Museum stops Igbaras treasure hunt

first_imgThe supposed treasure hunting permitee, Noly Laquihon Bayogos, wasalso nowhere in sight. ILOILO – The National Museum of the Philippines has stopped thetreasuring hunting in Barangay Pasong, Igbaras, Iloilo. Esmeralda thanked the National Museumfor acting fast but he remained concerned. There were no more diggers around. They may have gotten wind ofthe inspection. Under the law, all treasure hunting permits and licenses shall beissued by the National Museum of the Philippines. “This Office (also) reserves the right to (take) appropriate legalaction against you without prejudice to other agencies’ right to file an actionunder their mandates and for people or properties largely affected by yourillegal activities,” added Barns. The excavation reached some 80 meters deep, said Esmeralda. The cease and desist order was issued by National Museumdirector-general Jeremy Barns. Personnel of the National Museum of the Philippines check the mouth of this deep treasure hunting excavation in Barangay Pasong, Igbaras, Iloilo. Under the law, treasure hunting permits and licenses are issued by the National Museum. This one in Barangay Pasong has no permit, according to the museum. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The cease and desist order from the National Museum was now ineffect, declared Honey Beso, chief of the National Museum-operated WesternVisayas Regional Museum who led the inspection team. The local government of Igbaras recently inquired with theNational Museum if it had issued a treasure hunting permit to Bayogos coveringthe property owned by Leonora Escuriasa. Nearby households feared theexcavations would have adverse geological impact such as landslide, soilerosion and the earth caving in. Esmeralda urged village residents toremain vigilant and inform local authorities if the diggers return to resumethe excavation. The permit in the possession of Bayogos, CPD-THP-2019-20 datedJune 1, 2019, was in fact issued to somebody else – Leovigilda Uson / FranciscoS. Dela Fuente on May 28, 2019 for Sitio Lanod, Barangay Punean, Carangalan,Nueva Ecijca, according to Barns. According to Barns, Bayogos could be charged with violation ofRepublic Act No. 10066, the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009. “Basimagmunog ang ulan kag magluntad angsoil erosion,” he said. Together with Ej Peralta and Alan Arriola of the National Museum’sCultural Properties Regulation Division, Beso inspected the excavation area incoordination with Mayor Jaime Esmeralda. It sent a team to check the excavation site yesterday – a privatelot on a hilly portion of Barangay Pasong. The National Museum chief also ordered Bayogos to rehabilitate theexcavated area./PN Villagers said Escuriasa was longer residing in Barangay Pasong;she moved to Guimbal town. Violators of the National Museum’s cease and desist order would bearrested, said Esmeralda. According to Barns, the treasure hunting for alleged Yamashitatreasure was “unauthorized and considered illegal.” last_img

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