BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/25 August)—Grieving over the death of Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, Mayor Ferdinand Amante Jr. has vowed to continue the fight against illegal logging operations in the area.
“The death of Secretary Robredo should be a reminder to all of us, especially to the leaders of this country, that after all, it is our legacy and example that lives on after we die. Butuan has lost an ally, a hero, an inspiration, a leader, and a friend. We shall continue to fight what the secretary has started,” said Amante.
Robredo had hailed Amante in his last visit here, particularly for the apprehension of millions of pesos worth of illegally cut logs sourced from other parts of the Caraga region.
“We will honor his death by standing firm in our commitment in the battle not only against illegal logging but also other forms of illegal activities,” said Amante.
Amante vowed that he will go after the people in the illegal logging trade even if they are powerful and influential.
“I and Robredo are just instruments in this campaign, our boss is the people. Unless President [Aquino] will lift the order [against illegal logging], we will go after them no matter what,” he said.
Robredo was killed in a plane crash off the waters of Masbate. His body was recovered last Tuesday.
Vice Mayor Lawrence Fortun stressed that the demise of Robredo should not in any way halt or slow down the city government’s efforts to stop the denudation of the natural forests.
“His legacy should make us harness a stronger resolve to stop these abuses against the environment,” Fortun said.
“This does not mean, however, that we should kill the wood industry. The industry should thrive but in a sustainable manner. We can take advantage of the blessings of Mother Nature without having to hurt her,” he added. (Erwin Mascarinas/MindaNews)