Poaching rampant in Lamitan watershed

ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/28 August) – – Illegal cutting of trees is rampant at the watershed of Lamitan City, Basilan province, authorities said.

The illegal activity was uncovered by a composite team formed and ordered by Lamitan City Mayor Roderick Furigay to inspect the watershed in Barangay Arco.

The inspection team is composed of members from the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources, military and police as well as officials of Barangay Arco.

At least six hectares of the watershed were found to have been denuded, according to Furigay.

The tree species that were cut include acacia, gemelina, mahogany, and narra, he said.

The mayor said Arco Barangay Captain Edgardo Alipio told him the mastermind behind the illegal cutting of trees was identified only as de los Reyes, a former militiaman.

The inspection group burned several huts, which possibly served as the resting places of the people behind the illegal activity, Furigay said.

He said they have requested the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to build a detachment in the area to prevent further poaching.

He also ordered an investigation in preparation for the filing of charges against the people behind the cutting of trees. (MindaNews)