Palace wants full probe of 31 DENR officials for failure to stop illegal loggingBy Christine O. Avendaño
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang wants a full investigation of 31 environment officials who were relieved for failing to stop illegal logging in eastern and southern Mindanao.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday the 31 regional and provincial officials of the Department of Environment who were relieved by Environment Secretary Ramon Paje, got “some explaining to do.”
Valte said that the Palace was supportive of the move taken by Paje against the environment officials, reminding them that they were supposed to stop illegal logging as mandated by Executive Order no. 23, which has imposed a ban on logging in the country.
The EO was issued by President Benigno Aquino III more than a year ago.
“There has to be an explanation and there has to be an investigation because those logs that were transported were done under the watch of those officials. So yes, they have some explaining to do,” Valte told government radio dzRB.
She said that illegal logging in these areas happened either because the environment officials were sleeping on the job or they were “not cooperating” with the government.
The DENR has seized more than 13 million feet of logs, the bulk of which come from Mindanao.