Probe set for BCC gold hunt­ing

Sun.Star Baguio - - FRONT PAGE - Maria Elena Cata­jan Sun*Star Reporter

THE SEARCH for buried trea­sure at the Baguio Con­ven­tion Cen­ter will be probed.

Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan said the ex­pe­di­tion of trea­sure hunter Eliseo Cabusao Jr. will be in­ves­ti­gated by Mon­day by the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) and the City Build­ings and Ar­chi­tec­ture Of­fice (CBAO).

Do­mo­gan said although Cabusao has a per­mit from the Na­tional Mu­seum and the go sig­nal from the lo­cal coun­cil to pro­ceed with his trea­sure hunt, the safety of the con­ven­tion cen­ter struc­ture will be con­sid­ered and up­held.

The mayor added the trea­sure hunter be­gan his ex­plo­ration at the site but was halted by

CBAO.

As the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion of the BCC is tak­ing place, Cabusao’s hunt has to be scru­ti­nized if it will af­fect the struc­tural in­tegrity of the con­ven­tion cen­ter which is un­der­go­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Retrofitting and ren­o­va­tion plan for the con­ven­tion cen­ter in­clude re­tain­ing the his­tor­i­cal and ar­chi­tec­tural sig­nif­i­cance and foot­print of the site and struc­ture, max­i­miz­ing the use of re­new­able en­er­gies, nat­u­ral light­ing, and ven­ti­la­tion in the build­ing and site de­sign; ac­count­ing for eco­log­i­cally fea­si­ble and re­silient build­ing and site de­vel­op­ment; in­te­grat­ing pedes­tri­an­ized ar­eas; in­creas­ing park­ing ar­eas through base­ment park­ing; and ex­pand­ing the seat­ing ca­pac­ity for over 2000.

Do­mo­gan said if in­deed it will af­fect the con­ven­tion cen­ter, Cabusao has to state how he will deal with the prob­lem.

“What will Cabusao do to re­turn the sta­bil­ity?” asked Do­mo­gan.

Do­mo­gan said a meet­ing with Cabusao ini­tially re­vealed he would stop the ex­pe­di­tion if found it will af­fect the struc­ture of the con­ven­tion cen­ter.

On­go­ing for a pe­riod of one year is the long over­due ren­o­va­tion and retrofitting for the con­ven­tion cen­ter while Cabusao be­lieves the fa­bled Ya­mashita trea­sure is un­der­neath.

The trea­sure hunter is set to dole out 35 per­cent to the city, 30 per­cent to the na­tional gov­ern­ment if a re­as­sure will be found.

Cabusao is the lone trea­sure hunter who has ac­quired a per­mit from the Na­tional Mu­seum car­ry­ing with him a Trea­sure Hunt­ing and Dis­po­si­tion of Re­cov­ered Trea­sures Per­mit which su­per­sedes lo­cal laws.

Cabusao plans to dig a por­tion of the con­ven­tion cen­ter to amass truck­loads of gold bars be­lieved to be part of loot left by Ja­panese sol­diers dur­ing World War II, a tale re­layed to him by a Ja­panese sol­dier.

The trea­sure hunter said ex­trac­tion is not go­ing to be in­va­sive to the en­vi­ron­ment as they will only drill a 10-cen­time­ter hole over the de­tected spot or spots then pro­gress­ing to 30 cen­time­ters up to 80 cen­time­ters.

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