Aliping: ‘Kabuyao issue politicized’-A A +A
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
BAGUIO City Representative Nicasio Aliping Jr. maintained his innocence amid accusations that he violated the Presidential Decree 705 or the Philippine Forestry Code over his road construction in Mount Kabuyao.
The lawmaker submitted his counter-affidavit on the case filed against him by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) at the Benguet Provincial Prosecutors' Office.
While he admitted that he did not secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) before performing excavation activities inside his property, Aliping said denied responsibility for the cutting and gathering of any timber or forest products.
"No tree was cut or uprooted during the excavation within my property because there are no trees in the 3,000 square meter area where the excavation was done," he said.
Aliping said the forest charges and computation value of the uprooted and fallen trees pegged at P10,314,531.40 has no basis since he did not cause the death of trees located along the road inside the Mount Sto. Tomas watershed.
The lawmaker said he bought the property in 2003 and made improvements in the area through excavation and leveling.
Aliping, who claimed to have purchased the watershed property in 2003, said he should not be charged for the destruction of forestland and grazing lands for any excavation undertaken in his property.
Aliping said the Mount Kabuyao issue is being politicized.
"It appears obviously that there are some camps or persons that are out there to harass me and my family and to attack me personally and politically," he said, adding that some people were only pressured to pursue a case against him.
"I am being singled out for political persecution at my expense because I am a public figure being the incumbent Congressman for the lone district of Baguio City," he added.
The lawmaker hopes truth will come out and things will be settled.
His counter-affidavit, along with other reports and documents were already sent by the Provincial Prosecutors Office of Benguet to the Regional Prosecutors Office in La Union, which will handle the case.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 23, 2014.