An estimated 100-foot-deep open hole was found yesterday morning by barangay officials in sitio Back GMA, barangay Apas, Cebu City.
Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman said they learned about the hole after receiving a call from a concerned citizen informing them that a child almost fell into the pit last Tuesday.
Ayuman together with JL Lascoña, barangay technical assistant, went to check the area.
They found a one-and-a-half-meter wide hole in a hill between an unfinished restroom and a tree. The spot was also a few meters from the GMA 7 station.
About a meter-and-a-half high fence of blue tarpaulin was placed a few meters from the hole to conceal the pit from the eyes of curious passersby.
“Ganiha ra namo ni gisuwayan og naog pero amo gipabalik ang among tawo kay nahurot among pisi (I tried to send somebody into the hole, but I told him to climb back up after we ran out of rope),” said Ayuman, who earlier sent a man down the hole.
He said that initially they estimated the hole to be only at least 25-feet deep, but one of the team sent down to investigate the hole found a six-foot horizontal tunnel 20 feet down from the top and then another vertical drop from the horizontal tunnel of at least 50 feet.
Another horizontal tunnel six feet in length was found and then another 20-foot drop before reaching the bottom of the pit.
Ayuman said they also found a stool and a chisel apparently used for digging at the bottom of the pit, suggesting that the men involved in the digging planned to return.
He said a former member of the barangay’s lupon, Mary Jane Amante, had the hole dug as she intended to build a septic tank.
Lascona said he even helped in digging the hole last December, but they stopped after the hole was six feet deep.
Andrew Bacotcot, a resident of the area, told Ayuman that in February, six men arrived and proceeded with the excavating activity everyday.
Bacotcot said that the men even boasted of having been issued a permit from the barangay for the excavation.
Ayuman refuted the claim and will file a complaint at City Hall on the illegal excavation.
Ayuman yesterday ordered the area surrounding the hole to be fenced to prevent untoward incidents from happening.