Construction materials seized from Puguis forest anew

BENGUET. Personnel from the local government unit of La Trinidad, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, 1401 Ready Reserve Infantry Battalion and DENR-Cordillera confiscated construction materials brought to the Puguis Communal Forest on Tuesday, April 16. (Photo by Lauren Alimondo)

IT TOOK two mini dump trucks to carry all construction materials seized from the Puguis Communal Forest on Tuesday morning, April 16.

A total of 142 sacks of sand and 499 hollow blocks were confiscated by the personnel of La Trinidad local government, La Trinidad Municipal Police Station, 1401 Ready Reserved Infantry Battalion, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

This was the second time this year that construction materials were confiscated inside the communal forest by the LGU following a confiscation made last January 2019.

The site was 500 meters away from the main entrance of the communal forest in Longlong, Barangay Puguis, La Trinidad, Benguet.

Personnel installed a notice signed by Mayor Romeo Salda that reads “to the owner of the construction materials being brought to the Puguis Communal Forest, please be informed that the bringing in of construction materials inside Puguis Communal Forest shall be confiscated as per memorandum no. 068. Be informed further that the Regional Trial Court of Benguet affirmed the legality of memorandum no 068 for this reason your construction materials which are brought to the communal forest are hereby confiscated and shall be disposed of in accordance with law.”

Municipal Legal Officer Bartolome Baldas said the confiscation was made to prevent further establishment of permanent structure in the area.

All confiscated materials were turned over to Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro) in Wangal.

To recall, Salda issued Administrative Order no. 68 s.2018 ordering the confiscation of construction materials.

The memorandum, released last year by the mayor, ordered to take measures to prevent further attempt to continue any further illegal construction in the area including the confiscation of all materials relative to the illegal activity in the communal forest.

The petitioners, Heirs of Tiotioen through their counsel filed the petition prior to the implementation of the memorandum order, praying to the court to prohibit the mayor from further issuing memorandum against the petitioner’s subject property.

Lots being claimed by the petitioners have land areas of 41,541 and 123,938 square meters.

The petition for prohibition, injunction filed by heirs of Evaristo Tiotioen versus La Trinidad, Benguet officials was dismissed last year by the Regional Trial Court Branch 62 for lack of merit.


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