Philippine caves looted

Philippine archaelogist Victor Paz sounds an alert over the theft of bones from two burial caves in Palawan. The bones are thought to be stolen by the descendants of World War II soldiers. The linked article also carries a copy of Paz’s letter to the National Museum detailing the looting matter.

National Museum probes alleged looting of burial caves by Japanese
GMA News, 03 June 2011

An archeologist has called the attention of the National Museum of the Philippines to the reported looting of 500-year-old skeletal remains from two archeological sites in El Nido, Palawan.

In a letter dated May 11, Dr. Victor Paz said all the bones in Maulohin Cave and Istar Cairn — both on the island of Imorigue in New Ibajay town — have been stolen by Japanese descendants of missing World War II soldiers.

He noted that they took bones from burial caves believing they were Japanese.

“We write to report to the National Museum a dastardly act done to our archaeological resources and collective heritage,” Paz wrote.

Paz, a research associate of the National Museum, said he represents the members of the Palawan Island Palaeohistoric Research Project (PIPRP) team.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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