Benguet top cop notes lapses in Sto. Tomas

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014


LA TRINIDAD, Benguet -- Lapses in monitoring and management were noted in the heat of the burning issue involving Baguio Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr.'s activities within the Mt. Sto. Tomas reservation.

During a presentation of the crime situation at the provincial board Monday morning, Benguet Police director Rodolfo Azurin presented three areas of concern for the province, which include illegal logging, small scale mining and illegal drugs.

Provincial Board Member Jack Dulnunan was quick to ask why the illegal activities of Aliping were allowed to continue.

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Dulnuan said if the matter was reported to the police then it should have been relayed to the provincial board and could have been acted upon quickly before the project became the issue it is today.

Azurin then admitted lapses of coordination between the police and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

"We were remiss in that action," he said.

Azurin said the chief of police in Tuba reported the matter to the provincial police office as well as the DENR. However, these two agencies failed to coordinate.

Azurin said confusion set in when Tuba Mayor Florencio Bentrez issued a cease and desist order. The police were told the permits for the project were in process.

This as the police director added the construction of a police sub-station in the Santo Tomas area is needed.

“We have made this proposal even before [the issue involving Aliping] was raised,” he stressed.

Governor Nestor Fongwan attended provincial board meeting Monday to listen to the presentation of Azurin and backed the plans to set up a station in the area.

A police station will boost police presence in the area and will give residents easier access to authorities in reporting illegal activities it was said.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on June 25, 2014.

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