MABALACAT CITY A group of residents in this city assailed the Clark Development Corporation CDC) for cutting 200 full grown mango trees at Sitio Bana in Barangay Dolores on Thursday without prior notice to the owners.
Pastor Larry Santos, one of the owners of the mango trees, claimed that CDC should pay P50,000 per tree
based on the previous agreement of the state-owned firm and the residents.
However, the residents were shocked when CDC workers started cutting the mango trees without informing the
owners who are maintaining the plantation for more than 20 years, according to Santos.
Santos is a senior pastor of Harvest For Christ Church and a secretary of the Mabalacat City Ministerial
"More than 20 years na po yung mga tanim naming mangga. Hindi naman tama na bigla na lang nilang puputulin
ng walang abiso sa amin at iba pang mga may ari ng mga halaman na namumunga na," Santos told SunStar Pampanga.
Retired Police General Keith Singian, CDC Vice President for Security, said the residents may coordinate with
the corporation's Estate Preservation and Recovery Division, headed by Retired Air Force Colonel Herbert
Angeles, for their concerns and complaints.
Singian said he is not privy to the tree compensation agreement the tree owners are claiming.
Roy Magat, enviroment officer of CDC, for his part said the state-owned corporation acquired a permit
from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to cut the trees.
Magat said they are clearing the area to give way for an access road linking the Clark Mabalacat Angeles Road
or CMAR and the MacArthur Highway in Barangay Dolores.
The environment officer said this is part of the road network project of the Bases Conversion Development
Authority (BCDA) which was passed on the CDC.
The northern segment of CMAR in Barangay Dolores, once completed, is expected to help in solving traffic
congestion in the city, according to local officials and residents.
The mango owners also complained about the presence of a Philippine Coast Guard PCG team in the sitio
while the CDC personnel are cutting the trees.
But Singian said that a dog training facility is located in Barangay Dolores and Angeles informed him that
the PCG personnel may have been monitoring the cutting of some trees in front of the coast guard complex.
Sitio Bana, which is part of the so-called "Clark Drop Zone", lies inside the Clark Freeport zone. (RGN)