THERE are politicians and businessmen in Hinobaan, Negros Occidental and also in Negros Oriental who are behind in what could be considered as big-time illegal logging activities in Negros Occidental’s southernmost town.

This was revealed by Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Andres Untal after about 400,000 board feet of banned species of lauan trees with estimated market value of P16 million were recovered in the town’s Barangay Damutan last week.

Untal added that these alleged politicians and businessmen are paying the indigenous people (IP) in the area to help them carry out their illegal logging activities.

We are now coordinating with the Provincial Government on how to bring the recovered logs from the forest because of rugged terrain, he said.

He said that about a hundred trucks are needed to load and transport the illegally cut logs to Hinobaan proper.

The logs, according to Untal, may have been illegally cut a few years back but were left at the forest because of the rugged terrain.

He added that they plan to donate the logs to the Department of Education to be used for the construction of classrooms, tables and chairs.