Thursday, May 14, 2015

Army steps up drive vs illegal loggers

From the Philippine News Agency (May 13): Army steps up drive vs illegal loggers

The Philippine Army’s 801st Infantry Brigade (IB) has vowed to go not only after communist rebels in Samar, but illegal loggers as well.

Col. Leo Cirunay, commander of 801st IB based in Hinabangan, Samar renewed their commitment after the troops of the 52nd IB under Capt. Marlon C. Jauod of Pequit detachment together with the Paranas Police confiscated more than 600 board feet of illegally cut hardwood in Tenani village near Ulot River.

The army and police turned-over seized logs to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for proper disposition.

Meanwhile, DENR will continue the strict enforcement of Executive Order (EO) 23 declaring a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in natural and residual forests nationwide.

EO 23 led to the establishment of an anti-illegal logging task force, headed by the DENR regional director.

The intensified anti-illegal logging operations of the military and police is part of a campaign to save the Samar forests against loggers that proliferate in the province.

Illegal logging remains to be a top concern of Samar, which has reported activities in its protected forest covers as well as watersheds.

Cirunay vowed to intensify their efforts against illegal logging activities especially in logging hot spot areas in Paranas, Hinabangan, Calbiga and San Jose de Buan towns.

"It is our mandate to arrest and file charges against those violators of the law and ensure they be made to answer for their actions in coordination with the other law enforcement agencies," he said.

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