Rogelio Roger Domingo Roxas


Most of you are already familiar about the case of a TH (treasure hunter), Rogelio Roger Domingo Roxas. He was actually an ordinary Filipino soldier and locksmith who uncovered several Yamashita treasure deposits in the Philippines.

Roxas’ first successful recovery were composed of gold bars and some precious antiques. He and his men discovered them inside a cave at the northern region of Manila. Roxas had many other undocumented recoveries but his second greatest discovery was the deposit hidden at the BGH (Baguio General Hospital) in Baguio City. According to him, they found a statue of unique golden Buddha with removable head.

Buddha Head

Golden Buddha Recovered in Baguio City

It was on 1970 when Roxas and his crew started working on a certain area near the BGH hospital. They were working on it for several months until they happen to uncover an underground tunnel. Roxas described that they saw many scattered wirings, radios, knives, rifles and human skeletons wearing JIA (Japanese Imperial Army) uniforms.

Roxas and his crew spent more weeks in trying to explore the tunnel when they suddenly encountered a very hard concrete on the floor. It was a 10 feet thick concrete but they managed to break it apart.

It was on January 24, 1971 when Roxas and his group broke the hard concrete. Behind it, they were surprised by the Yamashita treasure found by them which was a golden Buddha statue that stands about 3 feet tall. It was a very heavy object that it required 10 men to move it around the tunnel and lift it out from the surface using chain block hoist, ropes and rolling logs.

Other than the golden Buddha, Roxas and his men also discovered several large piled of wooden boxes at a distance of about 50 feet away from the statue. The boxes were piled together at an estimated height of about 5 to 6 feet high and covering an area of about 6 feet by 30 feet wide.

When Roxas opened one of the small boxes, it contained 24 pieces of gold bars consisting of 1 inch x 2 ½ inches (length x width) dimensions. Although, he did not opened any of the other boxes around. Roxas though took all the 24 pieces of gold bars, samurai swords, bayonets and some antiques. The reason why he did not took all his findings was to “first dispose” the golden Buddha. This should provide him enough funds to cover his entire operations.

In just a few weeks, Roxas was able to sell 7 pieces of his gold bars. He also found two interested buyers of his golden Buddha. The first prospective buyer was “Kenneth Cheatham” who performed the test by drilling a hole under the statue’s arm. Cheatham’s assessment showed that the Buddha was a “solid 22 carat gold”. The second prospective buyer was “Luis Mendoza” who also performed his own test by using nitric acid. Mendoza’s test result confirms that the statue was “more than 20 carat gold”.

President Ferdinand Marcos Confiscated Roxas’ Findings

The continued success of Roxas in finding the Yamashita treasures was unfortunately put to stop on April 5, 1971. On this day, a group of armed men claimed as NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) suddenly barges inside Roxas’ private house at Aurora Hill, Baguio City. They forcibly confiscated all his precious findings particularly the gold bars and the golden Buddha.

According to Roxas, he asked the NBI agents for their search and warrant arrest but they failed to present such document. Instead, they used force which is clearly against the law.

Roxas Filed a Lawsuit against Marcos

17 years later after Roxas was robbed by the authorities in his own home, he finally filed a lawsuit in the US on March 1998 against the former Philippine dictator, Ferdinand E. Marcos along with his wife Imelda Marcos.

Roxas was able to explain that he was the one who truly discovered the Yamashita treasure. But, Marcos ordered his unlawful arrest and the confiscation of his findings. In addition to those crimes, Roxas claimed that he was also severely tortured.

Due to the filed lawsuit, Marcos ordered Roxas’ immediate release from the prison. But in just a short period of time, he suspiciously died giving the impression that he was murdered by his own sworn enemy.

Even when Roxas died, his lawsuit complaint went forward through the help of his estate and The Golden Buddha Corporation (a company that was intentionally formed by a group of individuals to fight for the right of Roxas’ claim to his treasure). It was on 1996 when Roxas lawsuit won the largest decision of the court in the history involving money. A total of $40.5 billion were awarded.

Roxas’ estate received a total of $6 million for the damages and false imprisonment. While $22 billion were awarded to the Golden Buddha Corporation for the damages and $1.45 million for the property rights.

Roxas’ Mistake as a Treasure Hunter

Roxas’ greatest mistake as a TH was that, he hired his crew as labor workers. This means that they worked for him and got regularly paid for their efforts just like any other regular jobs. However, they do not get any share to whatever findings they are able to discover.

Since Roxas and his men uncovered a large pile of Yamashita treasure, “do you think that it was simply okay for them just to receive their regular pay?” Of course not, they also want a piece of those gold bars.

Another mistake made by Roxas was that, he stored his findings inside his own house specifically right in his own closet. The most obvious place for the thieves or robbers to search. And in addition to this, many experienced THs actually have a superstitious belief that bringing a Yamashita treasure inside your house will bring “bad luck”.

Moreover, Roger Rogelio Roxas died at the age of 49 or 50 years old on May 25, 1993. He could have recovered more hidden Yamashita treasures if he is still alive today.