Tuba burial caves unharmed

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Monday, June 30, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Burial caves in Tuba town remain intact.

Poblacion village chief Oliver Paus in a report said there is no flow of soil from earth moving activities at the claimed construction area of Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping.

Paus said there are two burial caves are located in Mount Santo Tomas, one located near the radar station and another below the claim of the Aliping family.

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Road work in the area for construction at the Aliping claim has raised public alarm over the cutting of hundreds of trees.

Authorities fear the construction and roadwork will adversely affect water supply of the community as well as the area of Mount Santo Tomas, which has been tagged as an Environmentally Critical Area.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources filed an administrative case against Aliping for violations of the Philippine Forest Code for doing work without Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) needed before any infrastructure work is to be done.

Just last week, a criminal case was also filed by the Baguio Water District for the destruction of the Amliang water sources.

As of press time, Aliping has yet to file his counter affidavit for the formal case.

Paus and the village officials conducted an ocular inspection in the areas on two occasions; first on June 13 and another on June 21.

"I instructed the team of barangay tanods to inspect the burial caves and they reported soil residues did not reach the burial caves," Paus reported during the first visit.

On the second visit, Paus said he personally went with the team of tanods to inspect the caves and validated soil residue has not reached the burial caves.

“While it is true that one of the road openings is directed towards the site where one of the burial caves are located, we found no soil residues within the vicinity of the burial cave, the same is true with the burial cave located below the claim of Attorney Nicasio Aliping," Paus added.

Paus said elders from Mount Santo Tomas, Arsenio Aloas and Bairo Palatec confirmed there are only two burial caves in Mount Santo Tomas.

The official report was signed by Poblacion barangay tanods Ronnie Willy, Robert and Rowena Catalino, Josephine Pumahing and was submitted to the office of the Mayor Florencio Bentrez, the local council of Tuba and the office of Benguet Governor Nestor Fongwan.

Sun.Star Baguio tried to get the statement of Aliping, but the office of the Representative remained silent on the issue.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 01, 2014.

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