By Mike U. Crismundo
Butuan City – Troops of the Army’s 36th Infantry (Valor) Battalion (36th IB) seized 1, 141.99 board feet of illegally cut and sawn-lumber in Sitio Capangi, Barangay Cabangahan, Tago town, Surigao del Sur, Capt. Francisco P. Garello, Civil Military Operation (CMO) officer of the 36th IB told The Manila Bulletin.
He said the soldiers were conducting security patrol in the area when they recovered the abandoned lumber at 8:45 a.m. on May 8.
“Villagers also reported to the 36th IB troopers about the illegally-cut lumbers,” he said.
Garello said the seized lumber were brought to the 36th IB Advance Command Post (ACP) in Barangay Magroyong, San Miguel, Surigao del Sur for temporary custody while coordination was made with the Tago Municipal Police Station and Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Lianga for proper disposition.
The 36th IB CMO officer disclosed that from January 2018 up to May 7, this year, the 36th IB troopers has already conducted 10 successful anti-illegal logging operations in close coordination with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
These operations resulted in the confiscation of 53,754.57-board feet of illegal logs/sawn lumber with an estimated market value worth of more than R1.2 million.
To strengthen their campaign against illegal logging, 36th IB commander Lt. Col. Xerxes Trinidad reiterated the call to the local government unit (LGU) officials to address the problem seriously.
“We are sending a message to everyone to stop illegal logging as their livelihood, because the AFP will not hesitate to go after illegal loggers and those who tolerate it through buying it or consented that their vehicles be used in hauling illegal logs. We are reiterating our call to the LGUs to address this problem seriously,” Trinidad said.