4 men ‘digging for treasure’ in Mactan ordered to stop

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE PNP’s Task Force Kalikasan ordered four alleged treasure hunters to halt their excavation in Sitio Kambiyuhan, Barangay Marigondon, Lapu-Lapu City after they failed to show documents.

The site is in the interior of a residential area.

PO3 Kent Lisen, team leader of the task force, said the four men are from General Santos City.


Felipe Amores, secretary of Barangay Marigondon, said the owner of the lot next to the excavation site reported the incident to the barangay last Monday.

“Mangita daw’g bulawan (The men were looking for gold,” Amores said.

Lisen said the four men told them they started digging two weeks ago, although residents said they’ve been digging for the last two months.

The complainant also reported the matter to the Lapu-Lapu Police Station 4.

Lisen said the complainant alleged that the treasure hunters destroyed his fence to give way to PVC pipes, which the four men allegedly used to extract water and other materials under the ground.

Neighbors also complained about the foul odor coming from the extracted water, Lisen said.

For a deep well

And since the four men didn’t have permits and other requirements, the Lapu-Lapu City Environment and Natural Resources Office advised the task force to stop the operation starting Monday.

But Johnny Mallo, one of the suspected treasure hunters, told Lisen that Angelina Soriano, the lot’s owner, asked them to dig up a well.

Task Force Kalikasan, members of Police Station 4 together with some media members checked the site last Monday.

The hole is 30 meters deep and its mouth is a meter wide. It’s covered with plywood and canvass. It’s next to a tree surrounded by houses made of light materials.

Lisen said they’ve assigned five task force members to guard the area.

He said the Mines and Geosciences Bureau advised those who want to dig for treasure to get a permit in Manila.

Yesterday, when Sun.Star Cebu tried to visit the site, most of the residents had no idea where it is.

A resident who does not want to be named said he only found out about it when police went to the site last Monday.

He said when they checked how deep the well hole is, they noticed another opening.

“It looks like they are just digging in that area but their target site is in a different direction”, he said in Cebuano.

Another resident said a treasure box was found in the adjacent lot in the 1990s.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 12, 2014.

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