Five suspected illegal loggers were arrested in separate operations launched by environment and police authorities that resulted in the confiscation of about 1,046 board feet of sawed lumber in Caraga region.
Monday’s operations in the towns of Tago and Bayabas in Surigao del Sur and Prosperidad in Agusan del Sur were a huge boost to the campaign of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Caraga police office, Agusan del Sur provincial police office and Surigao del Sur provincial police office against illegal logging in the region.
Chief Supt. Noli Romana, Caraga police director, identified the five suspects as Cesar B. Loreto, Dante A. Villanueva, Rustom A. Zapanta, Arcelito Bahalla and Elmer S. Elbaldoni, all of legal age.
Romana said the police acted on a tip provided by an informant, after the suspects’ vehicles drove past police checkpoints conducting random inspection of motorcycles and trucks.
“They (suspects) were caught red-handed by authorities transporting the lumber,” Romana said.
He said the combined number of the seized Tuog and Bantangali lumber, both restricted tree species is worth around P31,380 if sold.
The arrested suspects will be charged with violations of the Forestry Reform Code.
Romana said the “full might” of the region’s law enforcement community would continue to wage war against environmental law violators as he urged the public to adhere to environmental laws and help the authorities in preserving the remaining forest in Caraga. By CLC