TREASURE buried at the Baguio Convention Center will remain an urban legend for now.
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) thumbed down treasure hunting activities for the fabled Yamashita gold attesting stability of the convention center will be compromised if digging will commence.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan confirmed the DPWH report submitted to his office nixing plans of Eliseo Cabusao Jr. and said he hopes the treasure hunter accepts the decision of the public works office.
The mayor said prior talks with Cabusao agreed to honor the decision of the DPWH on the matter in the light of rehabilitation work for the BCC.
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 was upheld by the local council despite the local environmental code which bans treasure hunting in the city.
Cabusao believes the fabled Yamashita treasure is at the area of the BCC and crafted a sharing scheme for the city with 35 percent going to the city, 30 percent to the National Government through the National Museum and the remainder going to him.
Domogan said he cannot blame those who still believe in the lure of buried treasure.
The DPWH upheld structural integrity of the BCC should be taken into consideration saying the search would affect the structure of the building.
Cabusao said information of the buried gold was shared by a 90-year-old Baguio born half Japanese man who has been a United States resident since the mid 70’s who pointed to him gold was deposited inside a tunnel somewhere in the vicinity of the now Baguio Convention Center.
The permit given by the National Museum is in accordance with the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 and required Cabusao to post a performance bond in the amount P 250,000 provided the Permit Holder shall conform to laws, rules and regulations regarding, among others, environmental protection including rehabilitation and remediation, labor, safety and health standards and the restoration of the to its original state as per submitted and approved Environmental Work and Programs.
For almost 70 years, treasure hunters are still searching for the elusive Yamashita treasure, rumored to be hidden somewhere in the Cordilleras.
The lure of the Yamashita Gold has become an urban legend in the Philippines. The massive treasure hoard amassed during the Japanese occupation of the islands from 1942 to 1945 during World War II.