Illegal logging caused floods



When Typhoon “Pablo” struck, the illegally cut logs on the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns in Davao Oriental province crashed into the bald mountain slope, floated on the swollen river, bulldozed houses on the riverbanks and rammed into bridges.

Baganga and Cateel have been isolated from the rest of the country because all the bridges leading to the two towns have been destroyed.

Some people should pay for illegally cutting down the trees in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel.

Most of the masterminds are politicians, a congressman, a governor and a mayor, among them.

Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources knows who they are.

If he doesn’t, then he’s tanga.

“Innocent” is the closest meaning in English of the Filipino word, but it doesn’t match the full impact of what it means.

So Mr. Paje, the innocent, please investigate. You must know who the illegal loggers are, Mr. Paje!

*   *   *

Angelito Banayo, the resigned head of the National Food Authority (NFA), is being invited by the Senate to answer charges that he “favored” rice importers over domestic farmers.

Simeon Sioson of 4SM Agri Venture Multi-Purpose Cooperative has accused Banayo of being biased for rice importers when he was NFA administrator.

Sioson made the charges against Banayo in a Senate executive session.

My source in the rice import business confirms Sioson’s accusation of Banayo.

“Kumita ng bilyon si Banayo noong nasa NFA siya (Banayo earned a billion pesos while he was with the NFA),” claimed my source.

Banayo resigned after filing his certificate of candidacy for the House of Representatives.

If it’s true that he earned that much money when he was NFA chief, he’s sure of winning.

Banayo has struck this writer as a clean and honest guy, believing in his self-proclaimed virtue.

With Sioson’s accusation, I’m withholding my initial perception of Banayo’s integrity until he proves his innocence at the Senate investigation.

*   *   *

Candida Espinoza, 77, fell while she was in the bathroom on Dec. 7.

She was in extreme pain two days later and asked to be taken to Las Piñas Doctors Hospital.

Anticipating huge hospital expenses, she signed a withdrawal slip for P500,000 to be taken from her account with Banco de Oro (BDO) Talon branch in Las Piñas.

The BDO cashier didn’t honor the withdrawal slip, saying her signature didn’t match the one in their file.

An argument ensued between the BDO cashier and Espinoza’s daughter, Marilou Biala, on one hand, and her sister, Corazon Espinoza-Artista, on the other.

Artista said that since Espinoza was in pain, the strokes of her signature had changed.

To end the argument, Artista, a former bank manager herself, asked the cashier if she could talk with the manager, Jo Ann Sembrano.

Artista would have suggested to Sembrano to accompany them to the hospital so the bank could confirm with Espinoza herself if she had signed the withdrawal slip.

But Sembrano was in a meeting and could not be disturbed.

Candida Espinoza died at 2:50 a.m. Wednesday due to complications from the fall.

Her relatives don’t know where to get the money to pay for her hospital stay and funeral.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • beerhunters

    Translation of “innocent=tanga”. Example:”The judge declared the accused ‘innocent’.”=Hinatulan ng hukom ang nasasakdal na “tanga”! Bwa ha ha ha!  Mon, “your foolishness went home to your body”!

  • mon key

    Mr. Tulfo, you are from Manay, Davao Oriental and PROUD of it. So why don’t you just write down the names of those who have profited from the cutting of trees. 

  • eirons1043

    The BDO situation is interesting coz the depositor died not getting her money from the bank.  It also showed how calous the bank manager is.  This is a perfect legal case.  Sana tulungan mo Sir Mon yong pamilya humanap ng mahusay na abogado (with the caliber of Alan Paguia) na hindi hold-up ang atty’s fee.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/53PNN2WSIQM6WLEOBGOCKQLV74 Jose

      Interesting tyak may ppapatol na lawyer dyan kahit hati ang partihan sa areglo sa damage. Daming pwede tingnan sa side ng BDO pati yung meeting nang Manager kung valid talaga baka na ignore talaga yung client saka meron pa naman Assistant dyan and Cashier pwede mag verify and check the bank policy kung pano talaga pag handle sa ganon sitwasyon. The teller alone cannot stand and argue with the client in behalf of BDO

      • ed_nique

        what caught my attention was that a daughter was against the honoring of the withdrawal slip … there must be a reason for this, logically a daughter would not do anything that would be detrimental to her mother. could it be that she knew something about the signature or was it because she did not wish to see such a huge amount taken from her inheritance?

  • rickysgreyes

    Our government officials know who are these illegal loggers, gambling lords, smugglers, drug lords, warlords are. The only question is: who has the balls to run after them? It s also useless to go after them legally, only Duterte type of justice will work, unfortunately.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YUPIVSCIBTBHNV6GEQJFNTD7OQ Glorindo

    Tulfo’s reason that the floods were caused by illegal loggings were partyly right. Continuous denudation of the forest by kaingeros and illegal loggers caused to flood low lying areas but I dont totally agree with this. Do you mean to tell me Mr. Tulfo that the floods that devastated New York and New Jersey were cause by illegal logging too?  New York and New Jersey were submerged 6ft. deep in water when the ocean overflowed.  You know the main culprit…. it is because of Climate Change. Factories all over the world clogging the ozone layer creating too much heat that resulted to heavy clouds which fell down to these cities.  AND THE BIGGEST CULPRIT… is that big chunks of ice from Alaska and the North Pole have continuously melted thus making the sea rise higher than its previous height whereby overflowing even cities which never were flooded before.  In short Mr. Tulfo, the reason sfor the flooding are illegal loggings, garbages thrown all over the river and the sea plus the continuous melting of the ice (as big as the city of Manila) due to Climate Change. The world will end not because of war but because of calamities brought by climate change. 

  • OleSapra aka ARGUS

    PROTECTION RACKET. Lahat ng “kliyente” mo eh dapat lamang na bigyan mo ng proteksiyon. Otherwise, NINIPIS ang sobreng hinahatag nila sa ‘yo a la retainer’s fee, ‘di ba, Tulping?

  • kalikasanipagtanggol

    o sabi ng gobernor duon ay wala na daw illegal loggers dahil kalbo na ang bundok…..o ayan dapat unahin imbestigahan ang gobernor na yan dahil bakit alam niya na wala ng mga puno na puputulin………

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Illegal logging produce floods, but not the legal one, why ?

    legal loggers are becoming illegal when no more legal left.

    Saw chain machines are silent for Governors, Majors, DENR officials, port authorities are blind, biba ?
    Saw chain are not silent for the Natives, specially when they are “legally” cut into pieces.

    Low land populations are closing their eyes when logging companies thugs are killing natives,
    low land peoples get killed by floods, isn’t it Karma ?

    Karma is taking too much time for the officials and the Manila Bo’s, biba ?


    YON PALA, kaya nag-resign si BANAYONG naka toupee, e, naka-BILYON na….di ba ganun din si Arthur Yap na ninyo bonito ni pands?  Well, nakorner na ni Tulfo si Banayo….pag nanalo, naging bilyonaryo.  Pero, galing naman ng TIMING ni Banayo, ano…..from gov’t service, to a super rich.  Siempre naman, kailangan ng malaki-laking pondo pag pinag-aaral at pinatitira ang ang mga anak sa estados unidos.

    Come to think of it, hindi ba aral itong si Banayo kay kErap Estrada?  Like master, like peon?

  • Manolo Villareal

    On that BDO argument – If you work in a bank, you have huge responsibility.  A transaction of P500,000 aside from being already subjected to AMLA, can not be just discharged with no verifications.  The bank usually call the depositor informing of the transaction.  What if, it was really not the account holder’s signature?  It must be the teller, not the cashier who was on the other side of the argument.  A cashier in the bank is an officer who can decide to go out of the way, like going to the hospital for verification of the validity of the withdrawal slip. I pity the family of the dead of course, but this case is not difficult to settle.  What is difficult, if you don’t really have that money in the bank.

    • AlexanderAmproz

      It’s absolutely correct !

      even I don’t like the Banks

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Fred-Mil/100002160424509 Fred Mil

    BDO’s slogan…. WE FIND WAYS

    • TeabagDeluxe

      To rip off our clients!

    • Roose Bolton

      WE FIND WAYS (but do not disturb us during meetings)

  • peach black

    Names, please?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FPVUYCML46QCAJM5N2O4GNID24 tony

      the practice is called PAYOLA JOURNALISM and it’s where the reporter drops hints about the identity of the supposed criminal all the while the intent is hope that the supposed criminal will put some money bills in an envelope and give the envelope to the reporter on the condition that the reporters stops from following up on the matter.

  • boypalaban

    sa nakakaalam…kanino po mapupunta ang pera ng namatay na depositor kung sakaling wala siyang naiwang last will/kasulatan tungkol sa pag-iiwanan niya ng perang nasa bangko?

    pakisagot lang po, curious lang po ako….

    • ed_nique

      to her legal heirs … surviving spouse and children

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H47CPJUE4QYKFUCKSUXK3LNBGI Allan

        of course, with corresponding inheritance tax. i just couldn’t believe the old lady did not name any of her children as executor while she was living. sa dami ng scam ngayon, we can never be too careful. i had a similar experience at bpi. i wanted to withdraw from my account but since my original account was not that bank, they had to check my signature. unfortunately, my signature card cannot be sent because the source-bank cannot be contacted. i had to tell the manager that i know someone working at bpi and when i mentioned the name, she agreed to talk to that someone. my friend vouched for me, and i got the money. at first, i was irritated but at the end, i thought these people are just doing their job. and i was embarrassed i acted the way i did.

      • boypalaban

         thanks po….

    • stealth ice

      who knows? maybe kay mang kepweng.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/53PNN2WSIQM6WLEOBGOCKQLV74 Jose

    Intresting itong balita kay Banayo eh ang lakas kaya ng dating ng mga column nyan nung araw sa Malaya anti corruption ang dating

  • nti_boohaya

    Mr. Tulfo, since you know the masterminds, why not file a case against any of them.  Remember, the DOJ can’t do crap about the ponzi schemer in Pagadian because nobody filed a complain against him?  If you sit there like the rest of us, then IMHO, the envelope journalist strikes again!

  • Roose Bolton

    Logging, whether illegal or not causes floods! As for the BDO incident, at least you did not imply that the patient died because her daughter failed to withdraw from the bank!

  • les21reago

    This is a very SERIOUS allegation under OATH towards BANAYO…I hope this to be HEARSAY after all NOTING Banayo’s anti corruption crusades in some of his Malaya column.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H47CPJUE4QYKFUCKSUXK3LNBGI Allan

      was/is he a cohort of erap?

      • les21reago

         My reading of BANAYO is that he is an anti corruption man and closely identified with the lawmaker breaker Lacson…To answering your question, since Erap is a convicted plunderer, Banayo could may have been a CRITIC of him.

  • Lara Kulit

    illegal or legal logging/mining, parehas lang yan na sumisira ng kalikasan. madalas ang mga nagmamay-ari ng logging and mining companies mga politiko, tanong niyo si enrile…

  • Horst Manure

    More people are killed by falls than any other form of accidents, even falling a few feet off a step ladder can kill you.

  • Mux

    That BDO case seems weird. A prudent 77 year old woman would assign one of her children as a co-signatory for her accounts knowing that she could possibly need the money anytime and would be too frail to go the bank herself.   My father is 80 years old and no longer able to move around as much as he used to. If he needs money, I can go to the bank and withdraw from his account without needing his signature. So that story seems unbelievable, especially since one of her daughters was a former bank manager, she would have advised her mother to make her or the other daughter one of her co-signatories.

  • ryan andres

    Strike 2 na itong BDO…

  • stealth ice

    if the bank officer will allow the withdrawal and it was a forged signature then the blame will be on the bank officer. the account holder should have opened an and &/or account instead. if something happened to her, someone can sign. unfortunately maybe she dont trust anybody including her children.

    that’s the result of not trusting someone.

    • boypalaban

      may maayos ka namang palang pag-iisip e, bakit di ka sumagot nang matino sa tanong ko bandang baba…

  • stealth ice

    absolutely the bank and its’ staff are free from any liabilities in the above story.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JJQWTLMZH3NNIE2IJ46AOZAXAE Hannah Blake

    Yes, illegal logging is a cause for flood but in the case of what happened during storm Pablo, illegal logging cannot be the culprit. It’s the natural dam that gave way that caused the flash flood. Even if that side of the natural dam is full of trees it will still gave way because of the strong waves cause by the typhoon hitting it relentlessly.

    As for Banayo, maybe he earned a lot from being the NFA admin that’s why he’s running for congress now. I just have my doubts why Tulfo mentions it here in his column. Mukhang totoo nga at si Tulfo gusto rin bigyan siya ni Banayo. “Pare kumita ka pala ng malaki, balato naman dyan, kundi patuloy ko i-mention ang name mo dito sa column ko. hehehe

  • randyaltarejos

    There are instances when the sickly parents don’t trust their children.

  • randyaltarejos

    Perhaps, the DENR can take a look at the illegal mining activities that created ground holes in the upper Compostela Valley. When the deluge of water fell from the sky, the ground excavations became the catch basin for the huge amount of water, until it overflowed and rushing down to the lowlands while at the same time destroying villages along the way.

  • tanga_hanga_ni_abnoy

    illegal and legal logging causes flood

  • Goodluck Jonathan Sandouk

    Flash floods caused by heavy rain but this phenomenon would be lessen the effect if the surroundings are surrounded with trees.  

  • jawaini

    ok alam na kung sino ang mga illegal loggers…matagal na cguro alam ng mga opisyal sa DENR kaya lang cguro may parte din sila sa kita…so tahimik na…until may nangyari…normal sa atin ang mga pangyayaring ito….at normal din sa ating ang mga culprits ay di ma parusahan …of whatever reason…so walang mag seryoso sa maga batas natin lalo na ang mga politiko kasi…parang immune sila sa mga batas natin..lalo na kung ka partido sa ruling party..so ganoon pa rin…

    about the BDO ..it has no laibilities whatever for refusing to honor the withdrawal slip if the signature seemed forged…500k yon hindi mani lang…tama lang ang cashier…sa kamatayan ng pasyente…doon sa hospital ang dapat tanungin..if they will blame BDO for their mothers death..it’s not justified…if due to lack of funds kaya namatay ang kanilang ina..may sagutin sila bilang mga anak kung sakaling pinabayaan nila ang kanilang ina…

  • sidewalkbenhur

    kawawa naman si juan dela cruz lagging biktima nang mga taong nasa gobyerno na puro mandurogas ,garapal,kurakot at pagsamantala sa kapwa at kal;ikasan.Magbasa kayo nang bibliya para alam nyo ang tama at sana m,ay kasabihan what goes around comes around

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks



latest videos