Influential people in illegal logging namedBy Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
WHY IS the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) not moving against the people responsible for illegal logging in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns in Davao Oriental province?
The answer is simple: DENR issued permits to influential people, such as politicians, who abused the privilege and cut down trees not covered by the permits.
If it were not for super Typhoon “Pablo,” the greed of these people would not have been exposed.
Ask anybody in Davao Oriental who they are and they will tell you.
And since the DENR does not want to identify them, I am now taking the liberty of identifying them: Davao Oriental Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang (1st District); Gov. Corazon Malanyaon and her brother, Cateel Mayor Camilo Nunez.
I am making the accusation based on my own investigation by calling up responsible friends and relatives in Davao Oriental who vouched for the veracity of the accusations.
I have concluded that the persons I am accusing here are guilty of the serious imputations against them.
* * *
With the exposé, I’m sure to lose the friendships of Dayanghirang and Malanyaon.
I may even incur libel suits from Dayanghirang, Malanyaon and Nunez.
Dayanghirang used to be the mayor of my hometown Manay, which is two towns away from Baganga which is adjacent to Cateel.
Malanyaon, on the other hand, is a close friend of my sister Wanda.
But this is not about friendship. It’s about moral rectitude which is expected of public officials like Dayanghirang and Malanyaon.
I would rather lose friends than become unworthy of my journalism profession which espouses truth.
* * *
The logs in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel rolled down the bald mountainside, floated on the swollen rivers at the height of Typhoon Pablo, and rammed into houses that were in the way of rampaging floodwaters.
Hundreds of lives were lost because of those logs.
Dayanghirang, Malanyaon and Nunez should be made to answer for their untimely deaths.
* * *
Whoever turned down the US government offer to lend its military helicopters for rescue and relief operations in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley should be held responsible for the prolonged suffering and possibly some deaths of the victims of “Pablo.”
A government official was quoted as saying, “kaya ng choppers natin ’yan (our choppers can do it alone).”
A week after our old Air Force helicopters started to conk out, our government admitted the need for big US choppers to ferry food, medicine and medical personnel to the battered areas.
Such statements of hypocrisy and kayabangan (braggadocio) on the part of our government were made at the expense of the suffering Pablo victims.
That official should be buried alive with the drowning victims!
* * *
The Banco de Oro (BDO) management has reacted to an item in this space Thursday about a client whose signature on her withdrawal slip was not honored by the bank because it thought the signature was forged.
Candida Espinoza, 77, died a few days after she signed the withdrawal slip so she could have money to pay for her hospitalization and medicines.
But now that she’s dead, how can her relatives pay her hospitalization and funeral expenses?
According to Paquito Vista, BDO public relations officer, the bank will honor the P500,000 withdrawal, it will pay for both funeral and burial expenses, Vista said.
BDO already paid Espinoza’s hospital bills, in reaction to Thursday’s column.
The SM Group of Companies, to which BDO belongs, is indeed walking its talk in reaching out to the public.
More from this Column:
- Tax exemption for Pacquiao?
- ‘Yolanda’ victims can rely on Lacson
- Ping Lacson’s new job
- Epidemic might break out in Tacloban
- Love is helping others in need