In 1992, the National Museum gave Huluga accession numbers, giving it formal recognition as an archaeological site. Korean contractors hired by mayor Vicente Yap Emano left the area when they learned it was a cultural heritage.
In 2003, Emano and his new Filipino contractor, UKC Builders, Inc.,bulldozed Obsidian Hill to give way to a bridge. The damage, reported by national dailies, caused a national uproar and even reached South Korean officials and journalists, who were told of a visit by a "cultural terrorist" from Cagayan de Oro.
MORE DESTRUCTION.In 2007, a national report about quarrying in Obsidian Hill prompted mayor Constantino Jaraula to publicly acknowledged Huluga as a heritage site. But Jaraula broke his promise to fence the area. Instead, Jaraula went halfway around the globe to Norfolk, Virginia, USA to forge a sister-city agreement, citing historical tie with Gen. Douglas MacArthur.
RECENT DISCOVERY. In 2009, an ancient grave in Huluga and an archaeological site in Xavier Estates were found. A Brown Company, Inc. (ABCI), Xavier University, and Capitol University agreed to share in funding the excavation of the sites, as suggested by National Museum archaeologist Angel Bautista. ABCI board chairman Walter Brown expressed willingness to construct a museum in Xavier Estates if significant artifacts were retrieved. Brown even postponed earth-moving activities for three months there -- a financial sacrifice -- but the National Museum cancelled the plan. HCA received information that mayor Vicente Emano was behind the rejection.
Since 2003 when Huluga was damaged, Emano has always been defended by the Historical and Cultural Commission (HISCOM) of city hall. One of its members denied any damage to Huluga. In February 2013, a few months before the national elections, Emano reappointed the same people loyal to him to the Historical and Cultural Commission (HISCOM). Their term ends in 2016. Because of this political maneuver and the low priority given to Huluga and other archaeological sites by the current administration, Huluga remains uprotected.
UPDATE, February 15, 2016: "UPON the recommendation of Dorothy Jean B. Pabayo, chair of the City Tourism Council of Cagayan de Oro, the membership of the City Historical and Cultural Commission has been reconstituted.
"Here’s the new composition of the City Historical and Cultural Commission: Erlinda M. Burton, Ph.D., chair; Rev. Fr. Jose Daniel D. Coronel, SSJV; Glory Sarmiento-Magdale, Ph.D.; Nicolas P. Aca Jr., and Rene Michael D. Baños." -- Excerpt from Mozart Pastrano's article in Mindanao Goldstar Daily