ILLEGAL OCCUPATION. Security guards, acting on behalf of a private person, occupy on Oct. 4, 2022 the old Bureau of Plant and Industry (BPI) building inside the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC) facility. The Baguio City Police Office has filed charges for trespassing and illegal possession of firearms against them for illegally entering the government facility without authority. (PNA photo courtesy of DA-CAR)

BAGUIO CITY – The Department of Agriculture in the Cordillera Administrative Region (DA-CAR) hopes to continue preserving the 94-hectare animal research facility here by preventing intrusion as 14 security guards were formally charged with trespassing and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

In a message on Monday, Police Regional Office-Cordillera information officer Capt. Marnie Abellanida said these security guards from the 8 Dragons Elite Security Agency (8 DESA) were charged for trespassing and violation of Republic Act 10591, or illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, by the Station 10 of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO).

He said they entered the facility on Oct. 4 without the consent of the DA-CAR despite several “no trespassing” signage installed at its forested area.

Several firearms were recovered from the security guards that included a .38 caliber pistol loaded with five pieces of ammunition, and one 9mm pistol with a magazine loaded with eight pieces of ammunition.

In an interview, DA-CAR regional director Dr. Cameron Odsey said the continued support of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will “mean a lot to us” in preserving the Baguio Animal Breeding and Research Center (BABRC).

“This facility is not just important to the DA but also the residents, especially with food sustainability being the focus of the current administration,” he said.

BABRC is popularly known in the city and neighboring towns as the Baguio dairy farm or stock farm which many residents remember as the place where they would go to early morning for fresh milk.

It houses native pigs, cows, chickens, and other animals which are used for breeding “clean” young animals that are dispersed by the government to the communities.

“It was once Baguio’s first glory,” Odsey said.

He said BABRC is covered by Proclamation 603 reserving the area for government use. (PNA)