via Inquirer, 11 March 2019: The previous story was good news, but this piece was bad news. A colonial cemetery site was illegally demolished last year in northern Philippines, and in its place is a stadium.
A cockpit arena now stands at the site of the Spanish-era cemetery of Balaoan in La Union following its demolition last year.
The circular cemetery together with the town’s convent was built by Fr. Casimiro Melgosa in 1877.
It was where the seven martyrs of Balaoan were executed by Spanish authorities during the 1896 Philippine revolution.
A descendant of one of those martyrs, Emilie Obaldo, a heritage advocate based in the United States, lamented the demolition.
“If this issue is a violation of any existing Philippine law protecting historical structures, then whoever demolished Balaoan’s public cemetery should be held accountable,” said Obaldo. (She is sister of mayoralty candidate General Pedro Obaldo Jr.
The “desecrated” cemetery, she said, “has been untouched for years, evident that it has always been a public property.” But it appears to have been transferred to private ownership.