Loggers continue defiance, but execs thwart themPhilippine Daily Inquirer
TAGUM CITY—Illegal loggers continue to defy President Benigno Aquino’s order to stop all commercial logging in old growth and natural forests nationwide, but authorities are standing in their way, continuing to seize log shipments to enforce the President’s directive.
In southern Mindanao alone, at least P3 million worth of logs had been seized after a week of operations, according to authorities.
A total of 1,516 logs, mostly lauan, had been seized in three separate operations in the provinces of Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental, according to Louie Ceniza, intelligence officer of the National Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force.
The task force was created by Mr. Aquino’s Executive Order No. 23 which banned logging everywhere except in private tree plantations.
The task force, according to Ceniza, has been conducting aerial surveys of major rivers in southern Mindanao to detect illegal logging.
Ceniza said the latest haul came on Wednesday as members of the task force—from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Davao Oriental police and soldiers—seized 296 lauan logs in the villages of Carmen, San Jose and Kawayanan in Boston town in Davao Oriental.
Ceniza said the logs, worth about P1 million, came from the forests of Lingig, Surigao del Sur.
On Tuesday, the task force also seized 220 logs along the Baganga River in Baganga town also in Davao Oriental, he said.
No arrests had been made, though, as the logs had been abandoned by poachers, Ceniza said.
Operations against illegal logging are to continue and the seized logs would be turned over to local police for “protective custody,” he said.
The task force’s biggest haul, so far, came from Davao del Norte where authorities found at least 1,000 logs along the Liboganon River in Florida village in Kapalong town last July 24. Frinston L. Lim, Inquirer Mindanao