BAGUIO City Mayor Maurico Domogan has ordered a full investigation for pranksters who tried to burn the Christmas installation atop Session Road.
Domogan said the reports have been relayed to his office the burning seems to be intentional with witnesses attesting to the act.
“We have ordered an investigation of this incident,” the mayor said.
The "tree" atop the session road rotunda is a giant art installation by Tinatik artist Maela Liwanag Jose which has been the topic of debate and criticism the past weeks.
Baguio City Fire Station officer SF03 Nelson Duagan Sr. said a distress call was received 1:55 am, Monday morning of the burning atop Session road and was responded to immediately.
Duagan said the fire which was in its first stages, was put out with damages sustained on the lower portion of the Jose creation.
Duagan said costumers at Booze Wines were able to see the burning and immediately called the attention of the storekeeper who called the security of the building, who in turn called the police.
Initial investigation of the BFP said the source of ignition was not the electrical system of the art piece as its system seems to be intact.
Duagan said the incident seem to be intentional.
The Jose art installation is described to have references to the culture and art not only of Baguio but the whole of the Cordillera. It aims to tell the story of creation starting from the sun, rain, mountains, plants, animals and man. It will embody the symbols of the Cordillera such as the "bulul," the lizard and the tattoo patterns an line with the Christmas season, the installation was made to resemble a Christmas tree.
Duagan said there will be a coordination with the Baguio City Police Office on the case as CCTV footage will be requested to be lifted and studied.
Duagan added the footage from establishments could not show identities of the culprits and is hoping to rely on footage caught on the system installed by the city.
The mayor said the installation by Jose will not be taken out of the area amidst the investigation.
Last year, a four storey tree made out of recycled materials at the Rose Garden was likewise set ablaze with suspects still at large to this day.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on December 12, 2017.
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