Slain DENR exec fought uphill battle

Colleagues say Almueda complained prosecutors making logging war tough


BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya—The Quirino environment official who was murdered on January 1 had always felt bad over setbacks that his office’s campaign against illegal logging suffered in the hands of government prosecutors, his colleagues said on Thursday.

Alfredo Almueda, community environment and natural resources officer (Cenro) of the Maddela-Nagtipunan area, also had complained of the harassment that he and his personnel had been receiving in the enforcement of President Benigno Aquino III’s order on the total log ban, they said.

“We often hear him cursing, mincing no words about how disgusted he was because he felt that the prosecutor’s office [in Quirino] had been sabotaging their efforts against illegal logging,” said a source at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), who asked not to be named due to the sensitive nature of the issue.

Almueda was gunned down by two men while on a stakeout with two other foresters at a DENR checkpoint in Barangay (village) Villa Sur in Maddela town at around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Regional State Prosecutor Rommel Baligod dismissed the allegations that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors were not cooperating with the DENR in its illegal logging drive.

“In illegal logging cases, prosecutors can’t be partial toward the DENR by ruling in its favor even when the law or the evidence does not warrant it. In theory, they must decide cases based on the evidence and in accordance with the applicable law,” Baligod said in a statement.

Almueda and 28 other DENR personnel vented their frustration in a letter to Environment Secretary Ramon Paje on Sept. 18, 2012.

“When you implement the laws, rules and regulations without fear and letup, you will be creating enemies,” the letter read.

They expressed dismay at facing harassment suits filed by illegal logging suspects, while the cases they had filed at the DOJ always ended up dismissed.

“Sad times, stiff challenges and even disappointments may fall upon us but the officers and personnel of [the DENR office in] Nagtipunan, Quirino, will stand upright and safeguard the interest of the public and the department,” they said. With a report from Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon

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 We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • ben corpuz

    Almueda was one of those few good men who died young in this country! May your tribe increase! RIP

    • mon key

      sori po, pero ano gusto mo mangyari . . . mas marami kagaya nya mamatay? ay naku. wag naman.

  • $8278216

    Imbistigahan si prosekutor rommell baligod,pati mga assets baka may mga tinatago….

  • tata_boy

    Imbistigahan at balasahin na ang mga tauhan ng DOJ at ang mga prosecutors sa Nueva Vizcaya, mga kasangkot ang mga iyan sa illegal logging. Isama na rin ang mga militar.

  • Weder-Weder Lang

    DOJ na naman. DOJ under Sec de lima has a knack for bungling cases. Sec de lima bungled the case against the Reyes brothers and let them get away on mere technicalities. Sec de lima deliberately bungled the case against her brods in Beda and went for the lower ranking members of the frat who were involved in hazing. Sec de lima tried to cover up the DOJ sex video scandal because the unfaithful husband is part of DOJ and the sexual partner is her kababayan in Bicol (and the girl’s parents are Pnoy appointees in LTFRB Chief James Jacob and Court of Appeals Associate Justice Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob). Sec de lima allowed the Panamanian rapist to get away with rape. Just recently, it was revealed by Human Rights Commission Eta Rosales that Sec de lima is lying when she claims that the botanist Leonard Co was killed in the cross fire. Cross fire between whom and whom, Sec de lima has no answer. Pati nga congress and senate hearing on the pyramid scam di mapigilang i-castigate si Sec de lima for DOJ and NBI’s gross negligence while there was still time to stop the scam.

    Ganun ka astig ang pagka-inutil ni Sec de lima at DOJ. At dahil DOJ ang may hawak ng kaso ng napaslang na si Almueda, talagang uphill battle ito. Ganun ka astig ang pagbubulag bulagan ni Pnoy sa mga pagkakamali at pagkukulang ni Sec de lima. Basta loyal sa kanya, ok na kay Pnoy.

  • joerizal

    Paano’ng nadi-dismiss ang kaso? Ang lalaki ng pinutol  na puno!!! Naitatago ba ang ganitong ebidensiya?

  • mon key

    illegal logging is big business. DENR personnel at the CENRO level are considered small fry. those who do their jobs, end up dead, while those who look the other way get a handsome reward. that is the reality, where ever you go. the system has been corrupted to the core. even the courts and the police and the army are part of the corrupt system. 

  • Jim De Garman

    baligod is clearly not a lawyer for the government he is simply a prosecutor from nowhere, with his idiotic arguments of being impartial against DENR he declared his partiality for illegal loggers..whatever the case, a DOJ prosecutors should implement the law for the government and not against the government, the case has to built up and gather evidences for the DENR don’t just say “the evidences does not warrant it” how could this type of lawyer stay in a government office if he could not defend the rules and the policy of the government..

    mr. baligod you should resign your post immediately to let DOJ fill up the position with a better lawyer..and by the way are you a lawyer???

  • esther


  • dikoy321

    This could be TRUE !

    How about Sec De Lima investigating her prosecutors all, in that province involved?

    Then remove the ones gound guilty, one-by-one !

    Forward Philippines !!!

  • pogi





  • joboni96

    suportahan natin mga katulad niya

    suportahan natin ang mga naiwan niya

    mga ito dapat nakikinabang
    sa pagbenta ng mga confiscated logs

    bigyan rin sila ng mga
    inayos na confiscated firearms

    rugged cellphones rin

  • Ninox Rumseyi

    As of November 2012 (DENR Publication), 25 DENR personnel/agents were killed due to illegal logging related incidents. CENRO Almueda is the 26th. Can we afford to lose another good man,,are these fallen comrades will just become statistics,, ?  

  • Ninox Rumseyi

    As of November 2012 (DENR Publication), 25 DENR personnel/agents were killed due to illegal logging related incidents. CENRO Almueda is the 26th. Can we afford to lose another good man,,are these fallen comrades will just become statistics,, ?  

  • Ricgwapo

    What’s new?

    There has been consistent “silencing” of our foresters for many years.

    They are against political elite and businessmen.

    Expect more “tsunamis” coming from the mountains devoid of trees.

    We only highlight illegal logging when there is disaster, but keep silent when things seems to be alright.

  • karlo cases arellano

    This is the problem eh… No coordination between agencies…
    My my…

    Now lives are lost and will be lost if inter-agency cooperation don’t exist.

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