BAGUIO CITY - Eighteen men were arrested for illegal mining inside the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Fort del Pilar, Loakan Road, Baguio City on Thursday.
PMA spokesman Lt. Col. Reynaldo Balido Jr. said the suspects had been repeatedly warned by academy officials to cease their activities but kept returning to the site, which is a forested area within the PMA.
Baguio City Police Office Station 4 personnel caught the men red-handed on Thursday afternoon.
Authorities recovered sacks of suspected gold ore, illegally chopped logs, and various mining equipment.
The suspects have been subjected to inquest before the Prosecutor's Office on Friday for illegal exploration – a crime under Section 102 of the Republic Act 7942, the Philippine Mining Act of 1995.
SPO4 Andro Palcongan said they are considering charging the group with illegal logging and trespassing.
Balido said this is the fourth time that a group of illegal miners have been caught in the area.
The 18 men are now in the custody of the Baguio City Jail.