Illegal lumber seized-A A +A
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Police and environment officials in North Cotabato seized on Monday illegally cut lumber in a remote village in Magpet town in North Cotabato, a police official said.
Senior Inspector Sunny Leoncito, chief of Magpet police, said the lumber were cut from naturally-grown trees in a lot owned by a certain Aida Arcenal at Purok-7, Barangay Bantac in Magpet town.
Witnesses identified a certain Al Beltran as the primary suspect in the illegal cutting of trees.
Beltran, according to Leoncito, hired a number of residents of Barangay Bantac to cut the naturally-grown trees planted in Arcenal's property without securing permits from the barangay and from the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (Menro).
Beltran owns a furniture shop in the Poblacion, police said.
Leoncito admitted that they only recovered from the area at least half of the more than 4,000 board feet of illegally cut logs.
"The cutting of trees started last Sunday and continued until Monday. However, when we received the reports from our informant, the sliced lumber were already transported to several areas outside the village," Leoncito said.
On Sunday, right after Leoncito received the information about the illegal logging activities in Barangay Bantac and the possible transportation of sliced lumber, they immediately conducted highway check along Magpet-Kidapawan highway.
"But it was too late. We received the information very late. The truck that carried the sliced lumber had already passed by the highway even before we conducted the road inspection," Leoncito said.
The next day, however, the police in Magpet again received information that there are still sliced lumber in the area.
"Without delay, we went straight to the place. We walked at least three hours just to reach the area," he said.
Police and Menro in Magpet are bent on filing charges of violation of the Presidential Decree 705, or the Forestry Code of the Philippines against Beltran and those responsible for the illegal cutting of trees in Barangay Bantac.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 31, 2012.