BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/27 June) – Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo has ordered the confiscation of hundreds of logs he saw being towed in the rivers while on an ocular inspection aboard a helicopter over Agusan del Sur Tuesday morning.
As soon as his chopper landed, Robredo immediately called the attention of Chief Supt. Reynaldo S. Rafal, Caraga regional police director, and demanded that an action has to be taken against the logs he saw floating in several of the river systems in Agusan del Sur.
“I have requested General Rafal to immediately see to it that action will be taken on the logs we saw. We feel the need to emphasize the seriousness of the directive of the President. While we are talking here today, loggers are busy transporting and towing the logs,” he said.
The secretary pointed out that he had recommended to relieve all the policemen who failed to properly do their duties.
Robredo said they will be tasking all the mayors and police officials in areas where the illegal logs were found to do some explaining. He stressed that he has already recommended the relief of all officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the province, and even the whole region.
After lunch time, Rafal coordinated with municipal police chiefs while he personally took a helicopter ride to inspect what Robredo earlier saw.
The municipal police stations of the towns of Esperanza, San Luis and Loreto, together with elements of from the DENR, immediately checked the river systems within their respective areas and confiscated hundreds of logs.
In Loreto, police led by Senior Insp. Wilson M. Corpuz and DENR personnel conducted operation against illegal logging Tuesday morning, resulting in the confiscation of 235 pieces of mixed Dipterocarpaceae, Gubas and various illegally cut logs with an estimated volume of 74.58 cubic meters abandoned at Umayam River, Barangay Poblacion.
The said team was also able to confiscate 266 pieces of assorted logs with an aggregated volume of 107.45 cubic meters in Barangay Sto. Tomas of the same town.
Senior Insp. Ronel R. Balingasan, of Esperanza town, along with his men and environment officials, likewise confiscated Dipterocarpaceae logs along Ojot River of Purok 14, Sitio Batohon, Barangay Poblacion.
In the municipality of San Luis, police led by Senior Inspt. Velasquez Liong, together with municipal government and environment personnel confiscated 20 pieces of illegally cut logs at a creek in Barangay Coalicion, with total volume of 5.79 cubic meters with an estimated market value of P11,580. (Erwin Mascariñas / MindaNews)