By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY – A field unit of the Caraga Police Regional Office 13 (PRO 13) seized on Sunday more than 2,451.9 board feet of illegally-cut assorted sizes of mixed dipterocarp lumbers in Trento, Agusan del Sur, a flash report reaching this city on Monday stated.
Joint elements from 1303rd Maneuver Company of 13th Regional Mobile Force Battalion (13th RMFBn) together with Trento Municiupal Police Station (MPS) and DENR personnel conducted the anti-illegal logging operation that also resulted in the confiscation of four motorcycles allegedly used in the transport of the seized forest products.
The operation also resulted in the arrest of four suspects, three of them minors, Maj. Renel E. Serrano, chief of Regional Public Information Office of PRO 13) told The Manila Bulletin on Monday, quoting the initial report from the field.
Identities of the arrested persons were temporarily withheld pending the arrest of the owners of the seized forest products, he said.
The adult suspect is now under the custody of Trento MPS while the three minor suspects were referred to the Women’s and Children Protection Desk (WCPD).
The undocumented confiscated lumber and the motorcycles were placed in the custody of Trento MPS, and will subsequently be turned over to DENR for proper disposition.
Meanwhile, PRO 13 Regional Director Brig. Gen. Joselito T. Esquivel, Jr. said the suspects will be charged for violation of Presidential Decree 705, also known as the Forestry Code of the Philippines.
The region’s police chief also urged the community to strongly support the law enforcement operations of the PNP to include the operations geared towards protection and preservation of natural resources.
“Our pre-emptive measures against environmental destruction activities such as illegal logging will be continuing at all cost. We will never tolerate these activities in our region no matter who is involved,” Esquivel added.