Seized logs to be given to DepEd Gov says use them for students’ chairs and tables

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/11 June) — The 10 truckloads of illegally cut logs seized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Lake Sebu on May 11 will  be donated to the Department of Education (DepEd) after the suspected illegal logger snubbed an administrative hearing, community environment officer Shalimar Disomangcop said.

South Cotabato Gov. Arthur Pingoy said the confiscated logs will be used to make chairs and tables for use in public pre-schools in the province.

The provincial government, DENR and DepEd had earlier forged a memorandum of agreement in which illegally-cut trees will be utilized for public school fixtures.

Disomangcop said they conducted the administrative hearing to determine if formal cases would be filed against Alas Kandadao “but he did not appear during the hearing that we scheduled last month.”

Governor Pingoy said the policemen were relieved for apparently failing to gather intelligence information on the illegal logging activity in the area.

Disomangcop alleged that Kandadao  violated the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines and the National Integrated Protected Areas Act, among others.

Joint operatives from the DENR, South Cotabato Provincial Environment Management Office and the provincial police command on May 11 seized 12,987.74 board feet of illegally cut logs, estimated to have a market value of P467,532  in Barangay Tasiman in Lake Sebu town, with Kandadao as the alleged operator.

Disomangcop said the seized forest products were considered forfeited in favor of the government and, shall be donated to the DepEd as is the policy of the DENR.

A wood molding machine and two circular saws were also subjected to forfeiture proceedings, he added.

Leonisa Alfaro, DENR-South Cotabato chief for community-based management unit, earlier said the raid came after they conducted a biodiversity monitoring in the area.

“These illegally cut logs are from naturally-grown trees particularly Nato, Tanguile and White Lawaan,” Alfaro said.

Logging in the village is banned because it is part of the Allah Valley Watershed Reservation and Protected Area, she added.

There is also a nationwide log ban imposed by President Benigno Aquino through Executive Order 23 issued on February 1 this year. The EO declared a “moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests of the entire country.”

Governor Pingoy said the policemen were relieved for apparently failing to gather intelligence information on the illegal logging activity in the area.

Five police officers, including municipal police chief Insp. Valerio Pado, were sacked following the discovery of the illegal logging activity in the town .

The others were Insp. Tirso Ontolan, Police Officers 3 Solomon Ocong and Edwin Cahurao, and Police Officer 2 Lorito Malon. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)

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