Task Force scores anew against illegal loggers in Zambo

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/4 July) – The Presidential Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force has scored anew in its campaign against illegal logging in this city as they arrested five people and intercepted a shipment of illegally cut lumber of hardwood species, an official disclosed Wednesday.

Ben Arcana, chief of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-West, said the shipment of illegally cut lumber mostly of Yakal species was intercepted around 11:45 p.m. Monday in Barangay Labuan, 36 kilometers west of this city.

The shipment consisting of 4,200 board feet with an estimated market value of P126,021 came from Barangay Panganuran, Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte, according to Acana.

He said the illegally cut forest products were intercepted while being unloaded at the shore of Labuan, which is the second barangay of this city from the boundary with Sibuco, Zamboanga del Norte.

Arrested were Jumadil Adjaluddin, 43; Abser Alibasa, 51; Aljimar Julaji, 26; Juraiya Hamja, 52; all residents of Barangay Sta. Catalina, this city; and Midzfar Alibasa, 21, of Veteran Ave., also this city.

Acana said a case of illegal logging was filed against the suspects before the city prosecutor’s office today.

Acana, whose area of jurisdiction is the western part of this city, said that his area served as the “dumping ground” of illegally cut lumber from nearby Zamboanga del Norte.

“What are being cut in that place are transported to this city through the area of CENRO-west,” he explained.

The confiscation on Monday was the second by the Task Force in this city.

The first was three weeks ago wherein they confiscated some 10,000 board feet of illegally cut lumber worth P1 million in Barangay Lapakan, 21.5 kilometers east of this city.

The Task Force was created when President Benigno Simeon Aquino III signed February last year Executive Order No. 23, which declared a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forests. (MindaNews)