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PIA Press Release
Saturday, January 07, 2012

Joint army, environment troops seize illegal logs

by Jose Mari M. Garcia

CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan, January 7 (PIA) -– A joint team of environment and army troops sequestered 103 assorted, squared timbers amounting to P130,000 in an entrapment operation conducted in Norzagaray town Tuesday.

The cut logs of different sizes were seized in the protected Angat and Ipo watershed areas by the National Power Corporation-Angat Watershed Area Team (NPC-AWAT), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), 56th Infantry Battalion (IB) of the Philippine Army, and Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI).

“We received reports that armed illegal loggers were seen in those areas. We immediately responded and conducted investigations with the help of DENR, the 56th IB under Col. Hilario Lagnada and Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society Inc,” Gov. Wilhelmino Alvarado said.

According to SSMESI head Martin Francisco, the operation in Sitio Binibit to Sitio Malataeng Kalsada of Brgy. San Mateo, Norzagaray was fully documented and that the group had coordinated with barangay officials since some logs were found in some residential houses.

“In Sitio Binibit, we found about 1,080 board feet of tablon wood, 800 board feet in Malataeng Kalsada, and about 700 board feet outside Ipo gate, which in total is 2,580 board feet. If multiplied to P50, the amount would be a total P129,000,” Francisco said.

He disclosed that one Fernando B. Acosta was caught in the act holding a chainsaw. The confiscated chainsaw is now in the possession of NPC-AWAT while a lawsuit is awaited to be filed against the perpetrator, added Francisco.

Rustico De Belen, head of the Bulacan Environment and Natural Resources, reported that 41 pieces of the confiscated logs were brought under the custody of NPC-AWAT while the remaining 36 pieces under DENR were directly delivered at 707 Central Wood for safekeeping at Tabang, Guiguinto.

The governor stressed that illegal logging operations in the watershed areas should be stopped to protect the mountains in east of Bulacan.

“We will continue to intensify operations against illegal logging and other unlawful activities that cause irrevocable damages to the environment and to our people as well,” Alvarado said. (WLB/JMG/PIA 3)

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