DENR exec’s murder tied to logging

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A senator and environment officials expressed outrage over the murder of environment officer Alfredo Almueda, linking his killing to the continued defiance of logging operators of an executive order (EO) issued by President Benigno Aquino.

Sen. Loren Legarda, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje and other officials and employees of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said the killing of Almueda was unmistakably connected to logging.

“This is a disheartening act of cowardice,” said Legarda, chair of the Senate climate change committee, in a statement. “Those responsible must be made to answer,” she said.

Paje, in a separate statement, said the murder of Almueda shows the “ruthlessness” with which loggers continue to defy the President’s EO, which bans all commercial logging in natural and residual forests.

In the line of fire

Almueda, 59, was killed on Jan. 1 by men armed with assault rifles as he manned a logging checkpoint in Maddela, Quirino province.

“We are angered and outraged by the attack,” said Paje. “Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Almueda,” he said.

Police in Quirino said the slain DENR officer drew courage in the war on logging from the President’s EO issued in 2011.

“Many people who knew him say that he really became very strict after EO 23 was issued by the President. There were really no sacred cows,” said Senior Supt. Domingo Lucas, Quirino police director.

Maddela Councilor Rimel Tolentino said Almueda was a “no-nonsense enforcer of environment laws.”

“After [EO 23], he went all out. He would lead operations in the remotest areas, go up the mountains and seize illegally cut logs from there,” Tolentino said.

Death threats

Reports said that the attack came as Almueda’s group, which included forest guards Gene Martin and Ronaldo Calonge, waited for the expected passage of a shipment of illegally cut logs, based on a tip sent to them through a text message earlier on Monday.

Lucas said the killing may have been job-related, citing earlier intelligence reports that Almueda had received death threats because of his campaign against illegal loggers.

Investigators cited a security lapse, which saw Almueda leading the manning of the checkpoint during odd hours and without security backup.

Under EO 23, anti-illegal logging operations are carried out jointly by a task force composed of representatives from the DENR, police, Army and the local government.

But Almueda was a hands-on type of officer, according to his colleagues in the DENR. “That’s the call of duty,” said Wilfredo Malvar, DENR regional technical director for forestry.

Malvar said since Almueda became community environment and natural resources officer (Cenro) in Quirino, the war on logging became his “personal crusade” because he lived in a hotbed of logging.

“If you are a Cenro from the place, you would not want your immediate environment to get destroyed because of illegal logging,” said Malvar. Melvin Gascon and Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon, and Norman Bordadora and DJ Yap in Manila

 

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  • AllinLawisFair

    President Aquino should give teeth to the Executive Order he issued to combat illegal logging. He should order the Armed Forces of the Philippines to go after the trues enemies of the people – those illegal loggers who cut logs wantonly and who deforest our mountains. 

    The Army should man those checkpoints, the Air Force should patrol the skies over those mountains where the trees are cut and the Philippine National  Police should should confiscate illegal logs and arrest those who are found to have something t do with the illegal logging operations.

  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    Baka sabihin na naman ni DOJ Sec de lima na caught in the crossfire si Almueda. Ganun din ang pilit niyang pinalabas sa napaslang na botanist na si Leonard Co. Puro palpak ang DOJ sa ilalim ni de lima.

    • Ivideo

      Gag O!

      • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

        O Gag!

  • darnah

    anubahyan… grabe naman mga illegal loggers na ito…foul naman ata na pati buhay ng tao kukunin nila… mabigat na crime ito at dapat magbayad sila ng mabigat din…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DPWG4HOOPPKW7DDS364NRTGVKY Corinna

    “This is a disheartening act of cowardice,” 
    — Correct si Loren! They already crossed the line when they defied our presidents EO and now, they even killed a DENR official. Shame on them.

    • Loggnat

      Is that all she can say? Shame on them…. The guy was murdered doing his job and all she can say is ..Shame on them?…. Oh well… Those murderers should get a minimum of life in prison with no parole. I prefer a special lifting of the death sentence ban just for criminals that attacks and kill law enforcement officials to drive the point that such crime will not be condoned. It will show that the government is backing and is behind their law enforcement personnel 101%. Death penalty might not deter crime as the bleeding heart criminal lovers says but it surely prevents those who commit barbaric and heinous crimes from repeating and victimizing another person again. An eye for an eye like the Bible said.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HQD3I42NN5GHFYN25Q7YYVD6Q4 Paul

    Condolence sa family ni Almueda. Sana magkaroon ng hustisya ang kawalan na ito. 

  • miiimiiiiiing

    ….Aysus!!! Pagbayarin ang mga pasaway na yan……Pinaglaban ni.Almueda ang environment natin at karapatdapat lang na hindi makawala ng ganun ganun lang yung mga iyon……Nakakainit ng ulo….miiiimmmiinng!

  • shotgunjames

    Nakakalugkot isipin na ginawa nila ito sa taong nagtatrabaho ng mabti para maligtas ang kalikasan. Sana lamang po ay mabigayan ng Justice ang pagkamatay niya at sana;y hindi lang mapunta sa wala. Nakikiramay po ako sa pamilya at kaibigan ni Alfredo Almueda.

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    sige putolin na ninyo ang lahat na punong kahoy. then wait for another sendong or pablo – dapat nariyan pa iyong mga involved sa logging. 

  • surigao_miners

    INUTIL ka kasi PAJE! puro ka salita! MAG RESIGN KA!!!!!!!!!!! Isa ka sa mga PROTECTOR NG ILLEGAL MINING AT LOGGING SA ATNG BANSA!

  • regie

    ideputize ang mga forest guards. gawing silang forest officers para magkaroon ng police power at magkaroon ng sariling law enforcement equipmen and capability. gumawa ng bureau under the denr par sa law enforcement ng environment particularly ang illegal logging. kailangan na ito kasi tlagang kalbo na ang ating mga kagubatan at nakikita naman ang perwisyong dulot ng illegal logging. tignan na lang ang nagyari sa comval.. kailangan na talagang iequipt ang mga yan. priority dapat ang kalikasan. ayaw ng mga mambabatas at mga elected opisyal na gumawa ng paraan para masawata iyan kasi either involvve sila or ayaw nilang makasagasa. supreme court  baka pwedeng thru your rule making power eh iencorporate sa writ of kalikasan ang pagsawata ng illegal logging.

  • tata_boy

    Pnoy, kilala ninyo ang mga illegal loggers, bakit di sila nauusig?

  • iping2sison

    The full force of the government should go after the assassins and their masterminds. Definitely, these criminals are emboldened by support from politicians and some corrupt government officials. 

  • http://joboni96.myopenid.com/ joboni96

    condolence to the family

    isa kang bayani

    sell some of the logs he confiscated and
    use it for his children to finish their schooling

    bilang na araw ng mga pumaslang

    mga kaka
    tulong naman

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