Caution raised over vintage bombs found in the Philippines

The Philippine Army Central Command has refused requests from members of the public to preserve some unexploded ordnance found in Kawit Island, citing safety reasons. I’m noting a record here because it might be useful for the future studies in the archaeology of World War II!

The unwillingness of the military to display the bombs, as well as their preference to destroy them for safety reasons is interesting, contrasted with the display of similar UXO at the My Son Sanctuary that I saw last month.

Preserving bombs ‘dangerous’
Sun Star Cebu, 31 January 2012

Vintage bombs probably used as ‘booby trap’: archaeologist
Sun Star Cebu, 1 February 2012

Requests to preserve and display some of the vintage bombs discovered at the Kawit Island of the South Road Properties (SRP) were rejected by the Central Command (CentCom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The bombs are too dangerous and should be detonated, military officials said.

Aside from the Fort San Pedro museum, war veterans in Cebu City and the Toledo City Government want to take custody of some of the bombs and preserve them, said Philip Zafra, the chief of staff of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

Zafra met with officials of CentCom, the Special Weapons and Tactics (Swat) team of the Cebu City Police Office and the Cebu City Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council yesterday morning to discuss the matter.

He said that during their meeting, CentCom officials expressed a “strong opposition” to the request to preserve the bombs.

Full story here.

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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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