We have been informed through a series of text messages from Sir Nick, or Nicky Wijangco, that he has been arrested at his residence today, June 29, 2011, by the CIDG, and was taken “somewhere in Lemery”. As this is a developing story, we do not have the full details, but here are some of the text messages from Sir Nick:
What do you think is the cause of your arrest?
“This is part and parcel of advocacy..[This is a plot] most probably hatched by my detractors. For now I still have my cellphone…”
What is the official reason for the arrest?
“I am woodworker, sculptor. It is common knowledge that I also change wood handles of guns because of my expertise. They found a piece I was working on in my premises this morning.”
Any message to the hiking community?
“Let us pray that they do that [respect the due process of law]. In the meantime, we pray.”
Since 2007, Mt. Talamitam has been in a protracted dispute covering various issues including jurisdiction, environmental protection, among many others. The two parties in the dispute are Sir Nick, who has always been the known face of Talamitam to mountaineers since the early 2000s, and the local officials. It is unclear whether this arrest has any connection with the dispute involving the mountain.