Clenro intercepts truckload of illegal lumber

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Saturday, April 12, 2014


THE Cagayan de Oro City Local Environment and Natural Resources Office (Clenro) intercepted a truckload of illegally cut logs when it passed through Barangay Carmen on Thursday night.

Clenro chief Edwin Dael said the seized 28.66 cubic meters of logs was owned by Elena Pantao, of REM Import-Export Enterprises in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental, based on the papers presented to his office.

But an ABS-CBN TV Patrol news report Friday afternoon identified James Pascual as the owner of the confiscated logs.

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Clenro identified the driver of the truck as Avelino Lomonog from Villanueca.

Together with Lomonog are his assistants Weniejen Alcober of Pangantucan, Bukidnon and Redner Enloran of Barangay Tignapoloan, Cagayan de Oro City.

Dael said Lomonog also confirmed to Clenro that Pascual was the owner of the logs.

The Falcata lumber was contained in a truck flagged down by Clenro near the overpass beside the West City Central School in Carmen.

Dael said the Clenro at the time was conducting a checkpoint as they received a tip three days ago that a truckload of illegally cut logs would be transported to Cagayan de Oro.

He said Clenro doubted the credibility of the transport permit when it did not match with the cargo.

“There was a discrepancy in the permit,” Dael added.

He said the transported logs supposedly came from a Community-Based Forestry Management (CBFM) area in Talakag, Bukidnon, where the cutting and transporting of cut timber from that area is allowed by law, but the trunks are too huge for it to come from there.

At first glance, Dael concluded right away that the cut lumber came from the forest in one of the city’s upland villages.

What happened, he said, was that the transport permit used could have been a legitimate document issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’(DENR) City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) based in Bukidnon.

But, Dael added, it’s highly probable that the permit was “recycled” and being used to move truckloads of logs that were cut from within the city.

He said this modus operandi will not work since Clenro inspectors can determine if the cut logs are really from Bukidnon or Cagayan de Oro judging from the size of the lumber.

Dael said the use of recycled transport permit had been happening in many of the instances that they conducted inspection and apprehension of illegally cut logs in the past few months.

But he said Clenro is serious in going after illegal loggers and at this time they will make sure that they will be charged in court.

“Ang problema daghan madakpan pero padayon man gihapon ang pagpamutol kay walay gaka-prosecute,” Dael said.

He said from the agreement that various government agencies and civil society groups have signed recently, Clenro, DENR, and the National Bureau of Investigation will assist the Cenro in the filing of appropriate charges.

He said only the Cenro has the right to file complaint against the suspected illegal loggers.

Dael said the role of the NBI and DENR is to help prepare the documents, while Clenro’s part is to execute the affidavit to strengthen the case against the accused.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 12, 2014.

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