2 'treasure hunters' found dead in tunnel

Harris Julio, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2017 06:55 PM | Updated as of May 13 2017 11:31 PM

Authorities look for the bodies of 2 men in a tunnel they dug in Isabela. Photo courtesy of Delfin Albano, MDRRMO

ISABELA - Authorities this week recovered the bodies of two men in a tunnel they dug inside a compound at Barangay San Antonio in Delfin Albano town here.

The victims were identified as Dominador Reyno Sr., 46, and Jay Manalo, 30, both residents of the same barangay.

According to Chief Inspector Andy Orilla, he received information around 1 p.m. Thursday that Reyno and Manalo were trapped in a tunnel secretly dug at the vacant lot owned by one Beljun Ramero.

Orilla immediately sought the assistance of the Disaster Action and Response Team (DART) 13 to rescue the victims.

After a thorough search, Manalo's body was recovered in the tunnel around 6:50 p.m. of the same day.

An hour later, his companion Reyno Sr. was also found dead at the deeper portion of the tunnel.

Investigation disclosed that the victims had been excavating the vacant lot for some time now without the owner's knowledge, allegedly to find a hidden treasure.

But while digging, the soil suddenly eroded, burying the victims alive inside the tunnel.

Orilla warned residents to refrain from treasure hunting, especially if this is done without coordination with authorities.

Guidelines in treasure hunting are provided under the Presidential Decree 1726. A permit should also be acquired from the National Museum in accordance with the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009.