ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews/13 September) – Authorities have recently uncovered illegal cutting of trees at the reforestation area of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in this city.
Combined personnel from the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO)-east confiscated last Saturday some 1,135 board feet of Gmelina logs hidden in a grassy area in Barangay Tolosa, an upland village 23 kilometers east of this city.
This came after CENRO-east forestry specialist Pilarito Montebon received a text message from Tolosa barangay kagawad Florante Mendoza: “Illegal cutting of lumber within the reforestation area in Tolosa is going on.”
Montebon said he immediately coordinated with SPO4 Ruben Najirul, the environmental desk officer of the local police, and swooped down Barangay Tolosa.
However, Montebon said they failed to catch any of the people reportedly cutting trees within the reforestation area as the suspects were already gone when they arrived.
They discovered the Gmelina logs hidden on grassy land when they conducted inspection at the periphery of the DENR reforestation area.
He said they are conducting investigation to unmask who are the people involved in the illegal cutting of trees at the reforestation area for the filing of appropriate charges.
Montebon said he will recommend for the establishment of a checkpoint in the area to thwart off illegal loggers at the Tolosa reforestation area.
Environment and police authorities have dismantled last month a newly-constructed mini-sawmill illegally operating in Barangay Tolosa. (MindaNews)