By Mike Crismundo
CAMP COL. RAFAEL C. RODRIGUEZ, Butuan City – The continuing all-out support of the Northeastern Mindanao Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) in forest protection and environment preservation had again resulted to the confiscation of illegally-cut forest products on Saturday in Agusan del Sur province.
Their intensified drive against illegal logging last weekend had confiscated more than 3,406.66 board feet of illegally harvested Lawaan lumbers.
PRO 13 Regional Director P/ Brig. Gen. Gilberto DC Cruz said Esperanza Municipal Police Station (MPS) received information from a concerned citizen about the alleged illegal activity in Barangay Salug, Esperanza, Agusan del Sur and immediately dispatched the team from Esperanza MPS together with personnel from DENR-Community Environment and Natural Resources(CENRO) Esperanza Monitoring Station, local government unit (LGU- MENRO) and Army’s 23rd Infantry Battalion (23rd IB) based in Salug, also of Esperanza town to conduct an operation.
“Upon sensing the presence of authorities, the suspects immediately fled, abandoning the illegally cut lumbers,” said the region’s police chief, quoting the flash report from Esperanza MPS.
Sixty pieces of abandoned assorted sizes Lawaan comprising 1,400 board feet worth P35, 000.00 were hauled at Km. 28 around 8:30 a.m. on Saturday while 86 pieces of assorted sawn Lawaan lumber with an estimated volume of 2,006.66 bd. ft. and a market value of P50,166.50 was likewise found abandoned at Km 29, both in Barangay Salug, Esperanza town, also of the same day, he said.
In the same area and the same day, another 146 pieces of assorted cuts of lumber worth P85, 166.50 were recovered and taken in by the operatives.
Brig. Gen. Cruz stated that the police have been conducting regular anti-illegal logging operations in the region as part of its commitment to protecting the environment.
“For logging to be successfully curbed, the government cannot work alone but must collaborate with locals and other stakeholders’” he added.