Army vows no letup in bid vs logging in Isabela

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—At least 6,000 board feet of illegally cut lumber were seized in San Mariano, Isabela province, on Thursday raising to 23,346 board feet the government’s haul of illegal logs in Cagayan Valley as of Aug. 8, according to a report from the military’s Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom).

Maj. Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang Jr., Nolcom chief, said Army soldiers from the 86th Infantry Battalion, the police’s public safety command and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) personnel found 2,000 board feet in the remote village of Tappa in San Mariano at 7 a.m. on Thursday. At 11:25 a.m., 4,000 board feet were recovered at the riverbank of the same village.

The DENR has taken custody of the logs, Catapang said. He said aerial reconnaissance over the area showed that illegal logs were now being transported through the river lines along Sierra Madre mountain ranges with Barangay Tappa as catchment area.

This could not be immediately verified.

The report did not identify the suspects but Catapang said efforts to arrest them were still ongoing.

“Nolcom will provide the muscle to stop the destruction of the environment and run after illegal loggers. Nolcom will also be a strong partner of all stakeholders in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction and mitigation in the regions,” Catapang said. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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