Over Php2.5 million worth of illegally sawn lumbers were seized by joint elements of the CIDG, local PNP units, Philippine Army, and the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) during the conduct of the CIDG’s OPLAN KALIKASAN on Sunday, October 24, 2021 in Regions 8 and 13.
OPLAN KALIKASAN is one of the anti-criminality campaigns of the CIDG against the destruction of natural resources. It is a program thrust that mandates the CIDG to conduct police operations and suppress illegal logging, mining, and fishing and other related activities.
The 10-day anti-illegal logging campaign conducted by the CIDG and member agencies of the Joint Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force resulted in the recovery of 149 pieces or 15,874.10 board feet of flitches and 611 pieces or 551.97 cubic meters of round logs, both of mixed dipterocarp species with an estimated value of Php2.4 million that were found abandoned by unidentified loggers in different sitios of Brgy Kasapa in Loreto, Agusan Del Sur.
Arrested in separate occasions were NERIO CALOS COLONGON a.k.a “Pedo” an alleged member of the “Tigbas Illegal Loggers Group” operating in the mountainous areas of Eastern Samar, ARJIE REGULACION TULIN and JOHNREY TULIN BANTILO in Pambujan, Northern Samar; and PRIMO BENOLIRAO CABUGUAS in Agusan Del Norte. Meanwhile, one of the subjects of the police operation, identified as BEBOT CABUGUAS managed to flee and elude arrest.
The following combined pieces of evidence were recovered from the suspects possession: Seven (7) pieces of sawn coco lumbers; Two hundred (200) pieces of sawn Lawaan/Lauan lumbers; Forty-five (45) pieces of sawn Lauan and Narra lumbers; Several board feet of sawn Antipolo lumbers; One (1) chainsaw; Two (2) bandsaw blades; Two (2) electric motors; Buy-bust and marked money; Official receipt; Three (3) sales invoice pads; Record Book; Electronic calculator; and Motorize banca locally known as "Dalamas".
“The protection of our nature and natural resources is everyone’s responsibility. And our collaboration with the other Government Agencies and law enforcement units serves as our serious commitment to stop, if not, eradicate such illegal activities,” says PMGen Albert Ignatius D Ferro, CIDG Director.
Suspects are now facing charges for violation of PD 705 (Forestry Code of the Philippines) and RA 9175 (Chainsaw Act of 2002), while all recovered pieces of evidence are now in the custody of the respective CENROs for disposition.