The apprehended equipment used in alleged illegal treasure hunting activities at Sitio Paglitaw, Barangay Calawis, Antipolo City, were placed in the custody of the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office of Rizal Province.
On May 10, 2022, the Kaysakat station received a letter from an anonymous concerned citizen complaining about the ongoing treasure hunting. The complainant also claimed that the deteriorating quality of the river is because of the alleged illegal activities. Personnel from PENRO Rizal immediately responded to the said complaint and proceeded to coordinate and request assistance from the concerned Barangay officials.
The team conducted their investigation together with the Forest Protection Officers assigned in the area at 9:00 am on May 11, 2022. Upon arrival, the team was able to talk with two (2) of the four (4) alleged illegal treasure hunters, while the other two (2) escaped.
During the interrogation, the violators explained that they were unaware that their actions are illegal since the said activities are rampant within the area. The team confiscated a Generator set and several other pieces of equipment used in the said illegal activity. The team filed a blotter regarding the incident that happened in the area and gave full details on the apprehended tools.
After the operation, the team conducted an Information, Education, and Communication Campaign (IEC) to disseminate the information to the communities regarding the prohibited acts within the Protected Areas as stated under the Republic Act 7586, also known as National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) Act as amended by Republic Act 11038 or the Expanded NIPAS (E-NIPAS) act.