BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the city’s environment code prohibits any natural or juridical person from conducting treasure hunting activities in the city because these are reportedly destructive to the environment plus the fact that many of those who were previously engaged in ir have gone bankrupt.
The local chief executive admitted that a group was able to obtain a treasure hunting permit from the National Museum to conduct treasure hunting activities within the premises of the Baguio Convention Center to dig up the alleged remaining Yamashita treasure wherein the government can have a substantial share.
“It is clear under the provisions of our environment code that treasure hunting activities are banned in the different parts of the city that is why we advised the members to first seek the necessary exemption from the City Council,” Domogan stressed.
He pointd out there were individuals who were successful in their treasure hunting activities but there were a lot more indviduals who were not successful in the said endavor as they suffered from extreme financial losses.
Further, he said those who were lucky to locate some of the hidden treasures were mostly accidental in nature because their primary purpose in conducting digging activities in certain areas of the city was for construction and not actually for treasure hunting.
Accor ding to him, it is still unfortunate that there are still people who believe in rumors that there are still huge Yamashita treasures deposited in strategic areas in the city, one of which is the Baguio Convention Center area, but there might be no truth to the matter since a number of rich Baguio residents who were into treasure hunting for several years now have practically become poor.
The group that was able to obtain a treasure hunting permit from the National Museum cited that a 90-year old former Japanese World War II veteran has testified to on the presence of the Yamahita treasure hidden in one of the tunnels within the vicinity of the Baguio Convention Center.
He expressed optimism that most of those involved in treasure hunting were able to learn their lessons the hard way after losing their wealth, thus, it should serve as a reflection to those still interested in such activities.
Domogan appealed to these treasure hunters that they will have no place to do so considering that those who earlier pursued similar activities did not actually get anything in return, except for the fact that they became practically poor after treasure hunting ate up their riches.
He asserted it is now up to the City Council to decide whether or not to allow the treasure hunting activities of the applicant even with the approved permit from the National Museum./By Dexter A. See