New Caraga police director says drive vs illegal logging, mining a priority

BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/14 August) – The newly appointed police regional director for Caraga said the campaign against illegal logging and mining are among his top priorities.

Chief Superintendent Carmelo E. Valmoria made the statement during the turnover of command ceremony at Camp Rafael C. Rodriguez in Barangay Libertad, Butuan City Monday morning.

“We are not the lead agency on this matter but we will look into it that we would be there to provide support when needed. We have a comprehensive approach when it comes to apprehensions since several stakeholders are involved in the campaign, like the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and the local government units,” he said.

In the command conference that followed after the ceremony, Valmoria summoned his unit commanders to assess what needed to be done including a possible revamp and stepping up security measures.

He stressed he would not tolerate wrongdoings by his subordinates.

“We are the people’s police, and they are our masters, that we have to provide them quality service and ensure protection from all kinds of dangers. We will continue as mandated to enforce the law to prevent and control crimes to maintain peace and order to ensure public safety and provide security with the active support of the community, our local officials and stake holders,” he said.

But Valmoria refused to comment on whether the relief of his predecessor, Chief Superintendent Reynaldo Rafal, was due to issues related to illegal logging.

He said it would be unfair to comment on the issue since he was just new in his position.

Butuan hogged the headlines two months ago after the seizure of thousands of illegal timber reportedly coming from Agusan del Sur by the local government unit.

The incident led to the sacking of several DENR officials in the regional office and in Agusan del Sur. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)