Illegal logging exposé touches a raw nerve



My exposé in this space on Saturday identifying the officials in Davao Oriental province who are reported to be behind the illegal logging activities in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel towns has made me unpopular among some of my province mates, including my relatives.

It was a bombshell that came as a shock to many in “Contra-Costa” or “East Coast” as Davao Oriental is known among natives of the province.

The officials I named in my exposé were Rep. Nelson Dayanghirang (lst District, Davao Oriental), Gov. Corazon Malanyaon and her brother Cateel Mayor Camilo Nuñez.

“How could he have done that to officials of his province?” asked one of my relatives in Manay, which is two towns away from Baganga and three towns away from Cateel.

My sister Wanda sent me the following text message Saturday:

“Cora (Governor Malanyaon) is devastated by your column to the point of questioning her faith in God. She really cried and poured out all her sentiments to our friend Peluchi.

“Especially now that she has a much bigger problem attending to the needs of her constituents. Perhaps d column was written at d wrong time when people could hardly pick up from typhoon Pablo. My heart goes out to my friend n I think she did her best.”

Another relative was quoted as saying, “Nanga sa yagsuwat pa siya ng makadugang ng problema sa kanato probinsiya (Why did he have to write something that would create more problems for our province)?”

Dayanghirang and Malanyaon are family friends, and that’s the reason my relatives and some friends in my home province can’t understand why I came out with Saturday’s exposé.

So sorry, my loved ones!

But I was just doing my job as a journalist.

To paraphrase President Quezon: My loyalty to my relatives and friends ends where my loyalty to my profession and country begins.

*                                   *                              *

Baganga and Cateel were the hardest hit by Typhoon “Pablo” because the super-hurricane made landfall in the two towns.

The two towns suffered a double whammy at the height of “Pablo”: strong winds that sent  buildings crashing and felled coconut trees, and logs that cascaded from the mountains, knocking down houses in the way of rampaging floodwaters.

Had it not been for the supertyphoon, the illegal activities would not have been exposed.

A view from a helicopter that flew over Baganga and Cateel revealed numerous stumps in the mountains and thousands of logs in bald spots that used to be thick forests.

Many of those logs rolled down the mountain slope, rampaged in swollen rivers and bulldozed bridges and houses in the two towns.

Needless to say, hundreds were killed by the logs that destroyed their houses.

*                                 *                              *

I can’t understand why Malacañang has kept quiet all this time about the illegal logs that were found in the mountains of the two towns and those that killed many townspeople during Pablo.

Clearly, Secretary Ramon Paje of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and his people were sleeping on the job of

protecting our forests.

Illegal logging had been going on in the mountains of Baganga and Cateel and was made public only now in the aftermath of Pablo.

But the fruits of the illegal logging activities had been seen by local folks in the province but they chose to keep quiet.

People, however, point out to visitors the villa in Barangay Zaragosa in Manay owned by Congressman Dayanghirang.

The villa, surrounded by a fence, contains four structures: a two-story mansion, a guest house, a big hall for entertaining visitors and two other houses.

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.

  • http://twitter.com/ZALZANZIBAR ALBERTO ZALAZAR

    …Trabaho lang ito,…”WALANG PERSONALAN.”….bato-bato.. ang tamaan huwag magalit…!…Alam naman ng mga TAO roon ang tunay na dahilan kung bakit maraming …buhay at mga bahay ang nawala…DAHIL sa.. “ILLIGAL LOGGING”… na yan…laging PASKO kasi yong mga POLITIKO na yan ehh,…ngayon na darating ang tunay na PASKO….bakit hindi nyo ipamahagi ang KWARTA na nakuha ninyo sa mga troso doon sa mga pamilya na na-apektohan ng kalamidad….Unsay gi huwat ninyo…?…GOVERNOR,.og..MAYOR,…tabangi tawon ninyo mga igsuon diha…!
                                  Mr. RAMON PAJE…..ano pa ang hinihintay mo…! kumilos ka na…!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJ76CX2OMZA5NVTAXNSNABESD4 jameS

    makikita mo sa tv liblib na pook may mga chainsaw na ginagamit hehehe

  • archerfan

    sigurado hindi nagkasundo sa hatian yan at nawalan ng persyento si tulfing kaya pumalag at nag ingay.  bakit yung sa ibang probinsya na matindi illegal logging na meron sya hati di nya banatan. 

    • generalproblem

      tingin ko naman ay fair si tulfo ngayon at hindi ac/dc. tingin ko eh naawa sya sa probinsya nya at malaking kahihiyan pag di nya sinabi yung katotohanan dahil reporter pa naman sya at isa yung bayan nya sa nasalanta. sana eh mabigyan ng hustisya ang mga kalbo (bundok na kalbo).

    • mrcrabdribble

      Dahil yun ang tinamaan ni Pablo. Alam ko tinira nya din dati yung sa CDO nung tinamaan din ng bagyo at nag-flash flood. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BV6DWTSUHKJGFANJJ5P3WPPTQM Paul

    now you are naming names….kudos, mr.tulfo.

  • tata_boy

    Pnoy, gumising ka naman, talaga bang walang maasahan sa iyo dahil natutulog ka lang sa pansitan? Huwag mong sabihing di mo alam ang mga involved sa logging sa mindanao, nasaan na ang daang matuwid?

    • $17848434

      Paano magkaroon ng daang matuwid? Nahaharangan ng mga illegal logs at stumps kaya kilo-kilo/baluktot ang daan duon sa may illegal logging. (Read: dumadaan sa maraming kamay ang proceeds ng ilegal logging.) Based on the prevailing envelopmental jounalism,walang dumaan sa kamay ni Sir Tulfo kaya binuking sila! Sigi pay-up or else may kasunod pa ang expose

    • anu12345

       Tama ka. Noong panahon ni GMA walang illegal logging. Kay Pnoy lang nag-umpisa

  • regie

    sir if what you are saying is true, the illegal logging is criminal and those responsible should be held liable because their acts of illegal logging is a felony and caused the deaths of thousand. it is written ” en la es causa, dela causa es causa, del mal causado” (he who is the cause of the cause, is the cause  of the evil cause) needless to say ang kanilang criminal acts which is illegal logging na nagresult ng kamatayan ng libong tao ay pinapanagot ito ng batas….papanagutin sila sa batas nakakasawa na itong palaging me napapahamak dahil sa ganid ng ilang tao…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W6H5DZKUQTUASP4S6CGTK7B3E4 kevin

    More power Mr. Tulfo ,May your tribe increase…….

    • gisingpinoy12

      may you tribe increase?….naku bro nakakatakot yan..puro AC/DC mga Tufling Brothers

      • go88

         nay …… he’d rather prefer you to say ‘mon,  may you BRIBE increase’ …

  • whyinthisworld

    We call it a serpent, looks like human in front, snake at the back. You mentioned Paje? a man from gloria’s arm who is working with pinoy. What do we expect then.

  • mekeni62

    Very gutsy indeed to name names. Hope this expose’ does not fall on deaf ears.

  • Special Education Philippines

    It is indeed a tough choice one has to make. But I think this is the best time to expose the problem because people will listen now that the effects of illegal logging is significant to them.  

  • Anggoy

    My loyalty to my relatives and friends ends where my loyalty to my profession and country begins. Very well said Mon pero I know nakangiting aso ang iba bumabasa dyan he heh..


    I recently read that the very president Benigno Aquino III, when he was still a senator, filed a resolution banning the reappointment of those who had been bypassed by the CA at least three times. So I’d like to ask you, Mr. Tulfo: How many times has Ramon Paje been bypassed by the Commision on Appointments? If the bicameral body happens to have bypassed this DENR secretary beyond what PNoy wanted to allow then what keeps him from sacking Paje?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_NPV7TOHIJPG3UMTLQDTHLQJR7Y Jack

    mr mon tulfo, kailan po natin malalaman yon pangalan nitong ungas na government official, na tinanggihan ang tulong ng US government para sa rescue and relief operations sa Davao Oriental at Compostela Valley salamat po. mabuhay kayo

  • pubringjuandelacruz

    astig ka talaga Mon… puede mong pangalanan ung mga personalidad sa Davao Oriental PERO ‘DI MO PANGALANAN UNG MGA PERSONALIDAD DITO SA METRO MANILA!

    laki mong oGaG!

    magsulat ka ulit ung nakalagay na ung pangalan ng mga Binay!

  • les21reago

    Am awaiting Mon Tulfo’s column about embattled ESPINO of Pangasinan…Mon is too praises for the man that he narrated Espino political fortunes despite the pillory in his military career among his superior.
    ESPINO is now the hot subject of investigation by DILG…Accused of raking almost billion of pesos in JUETING payoff…Espino’s political ally claiming POLITICS behind but a BISHOP Cruz identified him before as official in government protectorate of Jueting…
    Let us see your good journalism towards Espino as you do with the Pineda’s…Personally am inclined to believing what Police Woman Leonor Bernardino’s hurled assertions towards you in that DONG Puno live telecast?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/SYG36KOOLRY47VA3ICPJJ5CQTQ ADD

       Ano po ba sinabi nun policewoman kay tulfo, na ACDC sya?

      Ano masasabi ni tulfing kay Espino?


    The term “illegal logging” is simply redundant. PNoy has long banned logging activities on a national scale. The are no “illegal loggers” because no one is supposed to be legal in the first place. 

    • wawangpenoy

      Are you stupid? or ……. are you stupid????

      • http://www.facebook.com/anakbayan.gensan Anakbayan Gensan

        no, you’re stupid.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3LDMMAKC6UDQLDVFP2DGSJBXY Jezzrel

        naintindihan mo ba ang sinabi?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AR2HUUECAUT2D3PSC4WPVCET3I RJ

    The villa, surrounded by a fence, contains four structures: a two-story
    mansion, a guest house, a big hall for entertaining visitors and two
    other houses. 
    –  1 mansion + 1 guest house + 1 big hall + 2 other houses = FIVE structures (not four). :)

  • pilosopo4

    Hehehe..okay eto..sana matigil ang illegal logging.

  • LBchild

    Kilos Sec. Paje! Aabangan namin na may maparusahang mga sangkot sa logging sa Davao Oriental. Kung walang papanagutin dyan, wala na talaga kaming tiwala sa iyo. Mabuti pang magresign ka na.

  • pulis

    Si Arroyo na naman ang sisihin ni Sec,.Pangje. Mon. nag papasalamat lang ako kay bagyong Pablo dahit kahit papa-ano ay may mga nalagas na mga mababangis at matatapang na meyembro ng NPA..More power to bagyong Pablo..Sana sa susunod, mas malakas pang bagyo ang darating sa Pnas. para tuloyan ng maubos ang mga walanghiyang mga krimenal na yan…

    • http://www.facebook.com/anakbayan.gensan Anakbayan Gensan

      thank you, pulis, for proving once again how heartless your kind are. 

      • pulis

        Anakbayan, dapat ang pangalan mo ay anak ng Jueteng! Sana ma tidal wave ang Gensan para maubos na rin kayong mga anak ng NPA!

  • eirons1043

    Thanks Sir Mon for printing what is already known long ago. As I have been mentioning in my comments on other columns, Legal and Illegal logging is the cause of flooding and the killing.  Legal logging which requires replanting is not being followed and they are the ones who do the illegal cutting abetted by all sitting Presidents from 1946 to present 2012 the Tuwid Boy included.

  • julieboy

    GO to mindanao and see for yourself the illegal logging happening.Mining and logging are all illegal and a way of life.I could be wrong some minings are legal but the logging ban has been a joke.The military are involved allowing the logs to pass the main national roads for a fee..Everyone knows that in mindanao. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_V7W2T7T2N37DLVYJSM2OV4GJ4A Ramon S

    Good job Mon Tulfo,  veracity of your report is commendable, no sacred cow.
    fight for the good of majority..you are true Filipino who love his country and people.God will bless you more and your family.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/RYKPN7653264DJP6IHLNHINBNI Edith

    when i saw the devastations on those places i concluded that the flooding and landslines were caused by the balding of mountains and the logs that cascaded down the slope, but mr. tulfo im wondering why you are the only columnist who wrote about it and there’s nothing about it in the news.  are those involved so powerful and untouchable?

  • Chameleon08

    Nhoy nopy tolerated them, I suppose.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPUPSBWP2WEBCCPGHRY54UCTOM Anne Torre

    That is it! Laws are not respected in this country because the enforcers are corrupt. Leadership is  in disarray. It was some time during the Arroyo administration that all the illlegal logging started, All the accused officials are close allies of Arroyo now turncoats alligning with Nhoynoy for continued graces from the heavents. How to know this is through facebook’s posts of people from the devastated areas. High-end vehicles, mansions of provincial officials, junkets and cockfighting. The towns are third class but the officials suddenly became amazingly rich. In the mountains, forests are denuded, rivers became polluted, roads in the hills become unpassable after a slight rain. These are what you see in the facebook posts of people from the disaster areas in Davao Oriental. Try a research.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PPUPSBWP2WEBCCPGHRY54UCTOM Anne Torre

    To Malacanang: Post in conspicuous public places in the affected areas how much were given to the Governor, Congressmen and Mayors. Hundreds of millions had been donated!!!

    Relief assistance are very short that a man already killed his brother-in-law in Cateel because of food shortage. Money are said to be pocketed for the coming election.

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