The Philippine National Police and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources had apprehended 5 dump tracks of illegal lumbers in Brgy. Buyo, Virac last December 11, 2017 and led to the arrest of 5 suspects.
In an interview, Catanduanes Police Provincial Office, Provincial Director Felix Servita Jr. said that they had received several complaints regarding the illegal logging activities in Buyo, Virac.
As immediate response to the complaints, the PNP conducted validation and verified that there are rampant illegal logging activities in the said barangay, PD Servita said adding that they had case build up and applied search warrant.
“Apat na search warrant and inimplement namin yung several level and positive man yung results. 5 dump tracks of lumber ang nacompiscate,” he stated.
Aside from the lumbers there are also other illegal logging materials confiscated such as saws and chainsaws.
The PNP will file cases for violation of Forestry Code and Chainsaw Act against the suspects and two others subjected for arrest.
At present, the PNP is still determining the total volume of the confiscated forest products, he added.
The operation in buyo was the 62nd operations conducted by PNP as reported in their accomplishment report on illegal logging by the PNP from January-December 11, 2017 presented during the joint meeting of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (PAILTF) and Provincial Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee (PLECC) chaired by PENRO Marlon C. Francia at the Catanduanes Police Provincial Office (CatPPO) last Dec. 12, 2017
There were a total of 62 operations conducted with 77 arrested persons. There were also 11 chainsaws confiscated and 18,932.51 total volumes of confiscated forest products (bd. ft.) with a total amount of P960, 293.4. They had filed 28 cases in court.
On the other hand, the DENR-PENRO Catanduanes apprehended a total of 1,595 pcs. of lumbers from the different municipalities in the province from January to November 2017, with total volume of 22, 725. 98 bd. ft. or 53.599 cu. m. They also confiscated 27 units of conveyance/tools/equipment and had filed 19 cases in court.
As part of the DENR’s campaign against illegal logging they also conducted Information and Education Campaign (IEC) on Forest Protection and other Forestry Laws and coordinate with the different barangays, LGU officials and other Law Enforcement Agencies.
The DENR also implements Project Lawin (Forest and Biodiversity Protection System) which is developed with partnership by DENR and US Agency International Development. It is designed for better forest threats monitoring wherein the patrollers can share real time information of what they observed in the field and allow easy access information for the authority.
The Revised Forestry Code P.D. 705 was also tackled by Atty. Loreto Godisan Javier Jr. from the Regional Legal Office 5.
He focused in the offenses punished under Sec. 78 of Revised Forestry Code P.D. 705, including the two separate and distinct offenses stated in the said section.
Atty. Javier likewise discussed those persons liable and the definition of forest products. As to the penalties imposed, the offenders shall be punished under Arts. 309 and 310 of the Revised Penal Code.
On the other hand, PD Servita highlighted that on the side of the law enforcement they continue to operate against these illegal logging activities but they also need the support of the whole community and other stakeholders.