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Have them face the firing squad

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Now that the military has been ordered to go after illegal loggers, soldiers should shoot down people they catch cutting down trees in forests.

No more ifs and buts about it: Illegal loggers should be shot on sight.

The masterminds should also be shot along with the people they ordered to cut down the trees.

That’s the only way to stop illegal logging.

*  *  *

At the rate trees are being cut down, our country will have no forests in a decade or two.

Forests provide sanctuary to wild animals and rare flowers and orchids, give people food, prevent soil erosion on the mountainside to prevent flooding in the valley and preserve the ecosystem.

Persons who indiscriminately cut down trees should be considered public enemies because they commit a crime against the majority of the population.

Illegal loggers are in the same category as persons who commit robbery, rape and murder.

And what should the military do to illegal loggers? Shoot them if they resist arrest!

*  *  *

President Noy has ordered the Armed Forces to take over the campaign against illegal loggers in Mindanao from the Anti-Illegal Logging Task Force (AILTF).

AILTF has failed to contain illegal logging in Mindanao as 25 of its civilian members were killed in less than two years.

Illegal loggers are well armed and shoot AILTF personnel who carry old and antiquated weapons.

I know AILTF personnel are under-armed because their chief, Renato “Boy” Miranda, former Philippine Marine commandant, is my friend.

Miranda told me two years ago that his men carried inferior weapons compared to illegal loggers who are armed with M-16 and M-14 rifles.

Miranda said he was shopping for weapons for his men.

Apparently, Miranda has not succeeded in finding weapons to match the firepower of illegal loggers because he told a reporter in an interview recently: “The other side has firepower.”

*  *  *

I don’t believe Miranda would be in cahoots with illegal logging as alleged by an official of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Isoceles Otero, a special assistant to then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, reported that an AILTF agent in Surigao was collecting money from illegal loggers supposedly on Miranda’s orders.

If Miranda is receiving money from illegal loggers, why is he still poor?

*  *  *

I believe Otero knows the illegal loggers.

If so, why didn’t he recommend their arrest to Robredo then?

The DILG, which has supervision over the Philippine National Police and local government units, could have ordered the arrest of illegal loggers who include local officials and even members of Congress.

*  *  *

Sen. Joker Arroyo wants the court trying the suspects in the Maguindanao massacre to focus on the “big chiefs” instead of the “little Indians” to hasten the “trial of the century.”

The principal suspects are former Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., his sons Andal Jr., a former town mayor, and Zaldy, the former governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

There are 200 suspects in the massacre, most of whom were just followers.

Arroyo is right: If the big chiefs are convicted, their followers, who carried out their orders, will also get the ax.

The best punishment for these murderers who killed 58 people, mostly journalists, without mercy is to do what they did to their victims: Line them up against the wall and have firing squads mow them down.

That way, their crime will not be repeated.


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Tags: Environmental Issues , Illegal Logging , Joke Arroyo , Maguindanao massacre , Military , Mindanao , Philippines , Renato “Boy” Miranda




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