Saturday, 28 July 2012 12:12
The Anti Illegal Logging Task Force yesterday morning confiscated thousands of illegally cut narra and other tree species amounting to millions of pesos at the Saavedra Compound along Nunez Extension, this city.
Armed with a search warrant, the task force led by executive director retired Gen. Renato Miranda, Police Regional Office 9 Director Chief Supt.
Napoleon Estilles and PENRO Zambonaga/Isabela City chief Carlito Tuballa raided the compound and arrested three suspects who were immediately taken to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for investigation.
Miranda estimated the seized lumber between 60,000 to 70,000 board feet and would cost roughly more than P4 million. He said prior to the raid the task force made a three week surveillance in the area before they went to court and applied for a search warrant.
Based on investigation, there is great possibility that officials from the DENR, police and other agencies are allegedly involved in the illegal activity.
Miranda said the task force is now investigating the case further to identify the different personalities involved in the illegal trade.
He asked Estilles to assign policemen to guard the area to prevent the flitches and other cut lumber from vanishing in the compound.
Estilles, on the other hand, vowed to relieve policemen who may be involved in the unlawful acts and found to have committed other liabilities such as helping transport the cut lumber from the source to the compound.
PENRO chief Tuballa said Narra is a national tree and is highly endangered tree specie and cannot just cut easily without the proper clearance from the concerned government agency.
By Nonong Santiago
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