DENR team member hauling ‘hot’ timber shot dead in Laguna

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CAMP PACIANO RIZAL, Laguna–A man who was helping forest rangers haul illegally-cut timber was shot dead when his group was ambushed by unidentified gunmen in Kalayaan town, Laguna, an environment official in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) said Tuesday.

Reynulfo Juan, regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the group of six men–composed of forest rangers and haulers–was collecting abandoned forest products in Sitio (sub-village) Lamao, Barangay (village) San Antonio, when their pickup truck was fired upon at 2 p.m. on Monday.

One of the DENR’s men, hauler Jessie Comendador from Pila, Laguna, was shot in the head.

Juan said Comendador was rushed to the Laguna provincial hospital in Sta. Cruz town but died about an hour later. The others, he said, suffered minor injuries from the attack.

The gunmen escaped after the shooting, prompting the DENR to seek help from the police and the Philippine Army, whose battalion camp was about a kilometer away from the ambush site, to conduct checkpoints in nearby towns.

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