Treasure hunting should be in Bilibid Penitentiary PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 29 July 2016 14:43

Table Talk

BY Mike S Apostol

The notorious but famous Bilibid Penitentiary in Muntinglupa. Metro Manila, hit the headlines again as not only the sanctuary of some favored and high profile criminals, but underground alleged illegal drug laboratory and buried wealth. Last Tuesday evening, news revealed that the police assigned at the penitentiary accidentally unearthed at least one million pesos in cash from the grounds of Muntinglupa Prison, while searching for buried firearms and illegal drugs. There might be more millions of pesos buried in the grounds of that penitentiary, considering that before President Duterte’s drive against illegal drugs, drug lords jailed there were doing brisk business raking allegedly multi-million pesos a month and manufacturing those illegal drugs for street distribution in Metro Manila and the outlying provinces right there.

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Many individuals in the country lost their fortune because of treasure hunting. Famous of this treasure hunt is the fabled Yamashita Gold, said to be tons in  weight and worth trillions of dollars if found. Many went crazy on this hidden treasure, said to be buried in the Philippines by Japanese World War II General Yamashita, known as the “Tiger of Malaya” who collected the gold as war booty from all over the countries of Asia that the Japanese conquered in World War II and brought all these gold to the Philippines, as their last stand in Southeast Asia when the American allied forces were on the offensive. It is said that General Yamashita buried those tons of gold in many areas in the Philippines. This triggered treasure hunting in the Philippines by many Filipino dreamers and “soldiers of fortune”. Many believed they found some of the treasure and became very rich. Some are still there right now digging the earth looking for the rest of the treasure.

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If the dream to hit the jackpot is without restriction, the best place to hunt them is right at Muntinglupa grounds. Where it is believed that millions of pesos in cash lay buried there by filthy rich drug lords, who found Muntinglupa grounds as the best place to hide their illegal fortune. Like the myth of English pirate, the one armed Captain Hook, who is said to have hidden his stolen treasures in the many Islands of the Caribbean.

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In a similar issue, catholic priest assigned to answer the spiritual needs of prisoners at the Bilibid, is acting as spokesman for the criminals and echo the complaints of prisoners as manhandled and harassed by the new jail guards who from PNP SAF and AFP Marines. The catholic priest must employ his utmost tact in re-echoing the charges of these prisoners who are maybe complaining that their “happy days” are gone with President Duterte’s discipline. The new jail guards of PNP SAF and Philippine Marines assigned at the National Penitentiary, are there for a specific mission to rid  Bilibid National Penintentiary of  illegal drugs and drug lords and weapons. Nobody can do this gargantuan task of taming hardened criminals with only a whip or a book of discipline. Jail guards must employ tactics that criminals understand and terror is one of them. To stop the jail guards from doing their job to discipline criminals will only make criminals lord it over the government in that penitentiary.

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Scoop: I have a treasure hunter friend who once owned a lucrative lumber business. He accumulated so many properties, cargo trucks, private vehicles, and power saws. He was by local standards already “made”. His children are studying in exclusive private schools with private drivers to bring and fetch them from school. He can afford a nightly drinking spree in the city’s videoke bars and in fact maintained a GRO girlfriend who gave him a hint that hidden treasures can be found in her province in Zamboanga Del Sur. He got hooked to the treasure story and one day went with his girlfriend to verify the treasure story. True enough, when he reached his girlfriend’s province, he was shown a concrete marker buried in the ground with Japanese inscription. He went back to Zamboanga City and looked for people to help him mine the alleged treasure, buying equipment and provisions for many days. Barely a few months of mining, he found nothing but got sick of malaria. Now he lost everything, his business and vehicles, including his wife and girlfriend. His children stopped schooling and married early. Now he is alone and said to be living in a municipality in Basilan in misery. A sad story indeed, perhaps he forgot that everything is temporary in this world  and the opportunity to get “rich only knock once”. You may agree or disagree.